Wild winds that hit northern Alberta on Friday caused power outages and structural damage across a rural community.
Greg Mason was barely inside a minute when the storm hit his Hines Creek home.
“Clouds were moving faster and faster. It just got really nuts and I stepped inside,” he told Global News. “We just hunkered down where we were in our living room. The roof ripped off — you could hear the roof come off, the house was twisting,” he added as he described the wild winds that hit his mobile home.
The storm triggered a tornado warning, issued for the Fairview region in northern Alberta. It swept into the Hines Creek area around 9 p.m. but has yet to be confirmed as a tornado by Environment Canada as they are still collecting damage reports.
The weather agency said that kind of damage could have been caused by a twister or straight line winds.
“It was pretty scary — just totally helpless and nothing you can do,” recalled Mason.
There were reports of uprooted trees landing on houses and blocking the road. Sheds were blown over, shingles were missing from properties and in some areas, the power was knocked out.
Local farmer Clint Polukoshko said close to 80 per cent of his canola fields were flattened and wiped out. That’s 3,500 acres of damaged canola and wheat crops.
“It just hit with a wall of rain and hail and lots of wind,” said Polukoshko who was in his field when the storm hit. “It lasted about 15 to 20 minutes of heavy rain and hail and some heavy rain after 20 minutes.
“A guy that works for us, his roof on his mobile home in town had blown off and landed on the neighbour’s house beside him.”
That guy is Greg Mason.
“Got to replace that whole roof — the neighbour’s, probably his too,” said Mason.
Structural damage aside, as of Saturday afternoon, the power is still out and the community is still dealing with the destruction.
“It’s going to be a tough one,” said Mason.
But everyone in the area is helping out wherever they can.
“Everybody was just there. It’s incredible,” Mason said of his community.
Families devastated by southern Alberta storm begin cleanup, rebuilding
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