GATINEAU, Que. — Battered auto dealerships along a prime car-retailing strip in Gatineau, Que., were back in business Monday after spending a weekend repairing damage caused by a tornado that tore through the Capital Region on Sept. 21.
The tornado, one of two that hit the Ottawa-Gatineau area around the dinner hour, ripped open roofs and sent debris flying along St. Joseph Boulevard, home to nine new-car stores and other auto businesses.
No injuries were reported on St. Joseph, which Surgenor Gatineau Chevrolet Cadillac President Andrew McGurn said was "incredible, considering what went through here Friday."
Elsewhere, two people were critically injured and several others were taken to hospital. Many areas were left without power throughout the weekend.
At Surgenor Gatineau, the body shop roof was damaged but the showroom was unscathed. Insurance investigators were on site Saturday but McGurn said it will be some time before a dollar figure can be put on the damage.
"Today we're doing the inspection of all of our equipment -- our hoists, our doors, we had the building looked at on the weekend -- we're just double-checking, ensuring everything is safe and secure,” McGurn told Automotive News Canada on Monday.
He praised staff for their work in ensuring the dealership could open Monday.
"I'm so proud of their efforts this weekend," he said.