A fast-moving violent thunderstorm which may have spawned a tornado has cut power to thousands of homes and businesses in southwestern and southern Ontario.
Environment Canada had issued a tornado warning for Hamilton at about 1:30 a.m., which prompted Emergency Management Ontario to issue a "red alert" for the area. People were advised to immediately move indoors and away from doors and windows.
There has been no confirmation of a tornado strike, but Environment Canada meteorologist Rosemary Tabory said two spotters reported "there was a possibility" of a tornado touching down.
"One was on the north side of Hamilton, the other was on Hamilton Mountain West," said Tabory.
She said Environment Canada crews would likely head out in the morning to check for any signs of a tornado.
Environment Canada said the line of severe thunderstorms moved through the region with wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour.
The storm travelled from the Kinkardine area in the north through the Hamilton and Niagara region and Tabory says some damage is reported.
"We’ve had spotters report flooding and report some trees down."
Hydro One said the thunderstorms and strong winds left more than 23,700 customers without electricity.
They included more than 10,000 homes and businesses from Wiarton to Kincardine and east to Dundalk. Another 6,834 homes and business in the Guelph area were affected. Tabory said the fast-moving storm was almost all out of Ontario by about 3 a.m. and heading into the United States.
-- The Canadian Press