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CANADA: A tornado warning was never issued for Ottawa during Sunday's twister

Now, people are wondering why some received alerts on their phones while others did not
2019-05-02tornado5 GL
Damage to a home in Orléans, after a confirmed tornado touched down on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Photo courtesy of Greg Scriver

OTTAWA - As Orléans continues to clean up from Sunday's tornado, reviews are underway into why some people received alerts on their phones while their neighbours did not.

Alerts to mobile devices are sent via Alert Ready, the national alerting system. When a government agency issues an alert, it's distributed through the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, which is operated for the government by Pelmorex.

In a statement to 1310 NEWS, Pelmorex confirms that it pushed out alerts to broadcasters and wireless service providers on Sunday, and says it is aware of reports that not everyone received the alerts. Pelmorex says it is, "in the process of reviewing and validating these identified reports."

Environment Canada is the government agency that decides when weather-related watches and warnings are issued. After the funnel cloud was spotted southeast of the Gatineau airport, Sunday evening, tornado warnings were issued for Gatineau and nearby areas of Quebec, as well as the United Counties of Prescott and Russell. However, no tornado warning was issued for Ottawa.

A spokeswoman for Environment Canada says that the weather leading up to the tornado didn't suggest one could develop, but that the department is reviewing its public alerts system.

- OttawaMatters/Rogers Media

with files from The Canadian Press


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Jason White

About the Author: Jason White

Jason is an award-winning reporter at CityNews Ottawa. He brings about two decades of experience in news, with stops in Halifax and Toronto.
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