People in the town of Pipestone, about 100 kilometres southwest of Brandon, say their community looks like a war zone, after a severe storm that likely included a tornado ripped through southwestern Manitoba yesterday evening.

Premier to visit


Premier Greg Selinger is planning to tour the Pipestone area and survey the damage Monday morning.

Roofs were blown off buildings, mobile homes and trailers overturned, trees uprooted and power knocked out in the communities of Pipestone, Hartney and Reston when the storm hit around 6:30 p.m. CT.

The reeve of the Rural Municipality of Pipestone, Ross Tycoles, said damage to the town of Pipestone itself is significant.

"Part of the hall roof was taken, half the rink was taken, damage to mobile homes and trailers. [It's a] really big old town with lots of trees and most of them are down," he told CBC News.

Pipestone resident Tessa Turnbull said some of those trees landed on her neighbour's house, causing extensive damage. At her husband's used car lot, 25 vehicles were destroyed. Many had their windows smashed in and were dented by hail.

"There's just buildings down everywhere," she said.

The storm also brought hail and heavy rain, which flattened crops. The area is still recovering from severe flooding in late June because of rain.

'For three weekends now in a row we have been doing nothing but cleaning up one mess after another mess from mother nature. It's just been one continuous clean up after another'—Tessa Turnbull, Pipestone resident

"I'm actually overwhelmed," said Tessa Turnbull. "For three weekends in a row we have been doing nothing but cleaning up one mess after another mess from mother nature. It's just been one continuous clean up after another," she said.  

Environment Canada said it is highly likely a tornado touched down in the area, because of radar information and eyewitness reports. It plans to send a team on Monday to check out the damage.

Power knocked out for 1,000

Manitoba Hydro said power was knocked out for about 1,000 people on Saturday.

It managed to restore electricity to the towns of Reston and Hartney by midnight, but about 60 crew members were working all day Sunday to reconnect customers in Pipestone.  

A Manitoba Hydro spokesperson said so many poles and lines were knocked down that workers are going house-to-house to ensure things are safe before turning the power back on.