The residents of Goderich have begun their long road to recovery after the most powerful tornado in years smashed into their community.

Environment Canada says winds reached up to 300-kilometres an hour, causing what police describe as “catastrophic” destruction in much of the town.

A state of emergency has been declared. Many downtown businesses lie shattered, along with picturesque century old buildings and several churches.

Sixty-one year Norman Laberge of Lucknow was killed at the salt mine and 37 people suffered minor injuries when the storm hit with little warning yesterday afternoon.

Here is video of the damage posted to YouTube.com by a 570 News listener…



Meanwhile, Premier Dalton McGuinty took to Twitter to express his condolences to the people of Goderich.

McGuinty tweeted, “My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Goderich. We will support the recovery & rebuilding of one of Ontario’s prettiest towns.”

A Facebook page called “Goderich Ontario Tornado victims and support” has been set up. People are posting offers of help, supplies and prayers. They’re also posting pictures of the damage.

The town of Goderich has not yet formalized any plans for a clean-up.

Anyone interested in helping with the clean-up effort is encouraged to call the Goderich Town Hall at 519-524-8344 and leave their name and phone number. Once clean-up plans have been formalized, the town will call the volunteers on their list and let them know how they can help.