Alberta mopping up after storm that brought heavy rain, hail and tornadoes
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, June 14, 2020 9:40AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 14, 2020 5:57PM EDT
CALGARY - Alberta residents, including Calgary's mayor, are mopping up after tornadoes were spotted in several southern Alberta communities and the city was struck Saturday evening by torrential rain and hail.
Environment Canada says a tornado was spotted at 7:37 p.m. near New Dayton, moving 60 km/h to the northeast.
A tornado was seen about 30 minutes later near Barnwell, followed by reports of possible tornadoes in Taber and Brooks.
The weather warning was cancelled around 9:40 p.m. after the storm weakened.
Police in Calgary said many major thoroughfares closed and crews worked to rescue stranded drivers as pooling water caused significant traffic delays.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted that city crews were out all night, and were continuing to clear drains and clean up on Sunday.
He said the damage was extensive.
“My house and neighbourhood were pretty badly hit, but so much worse just one community over. Thankfully no one seems to have been badly hurt,” Nenshi wrote.
The Calgary Firefighters Association tweeted that the fire rescue boat was on Deerfoot Trail, a major freeway arterial, and had helped get motorists who were stranded in their vehicles.
Fire Battalion Chief Paul Frederick said there were 23 water-rescue type calls, including two where firefighters used an inflatable raft to ferry people to safety.
Scores of Calgary residents, particularly those living in the city's northeast, posted pictures and video showing lawns covered in hail and icy rivers flowing along their streets. Others posted pics of their homes, many of which had vinyl siding smashed off the sides.
“A bunch of us earlier today were raking siding pieces off the lawn,” Stephen Cassley said in an interview, noting the storm came on quick and lasted over half an hour.
“Winds were howling. Hail was pounding the house so much that it shook the house.”
“It went from golf ball/ping pong ball size to tennis ball and billiard ball sizes.”
Calgary Transit said several bus routes experienced delays due to extreme weather and flooding in the city's northeast, while electricity provider Enmax Corp. reported several weather-related outages in the city.
Frederick said lightning struck one house but didn't do any damage. Seven pieces of firefighting apparatus, however, were damaged.
The city appealed to residents to help by clearing blocked storm drains and reporting any damage to public property.
“Some streets remain impassable due to flooding,” the city tweeted Sunday afternoon.
“We're working to clear drains and roads of debris, as soon as we can. Please be safe.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2020.