Heavy rain and strong winds left trees scattered on streets, power lines knocked down and 6,200 people without power around southern Manitoba late Tuesday night and early Wednesday, Manitoba Hydro says.
A cold front pushed into Manitoba on Tuesday and warm, humid and unstable air from the Dakotas and Minnesota brought thunderstorms into the province overnight.
"We had some pretty high winds in the city last night," said Kelvin Toews, Steinbach's fire chief.
Wind gusts reached 104 km/h around 10 p.m. in the community, about 50 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, Environment Canada said. Apart from Steinbach, the communities of Ste. Anne, Sarto and Woodridge were the hardest hit, Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen said.
Owen said three poles were downed, two transformers had to be replaced and there were several locations where trees took out power lines.
Toews said fire crews received a slew of calls for power lines down or in trees.
"It was pretty strong at times. Even in the trucks, the trucks were being shaken around quite a bit," he said.
The fence from a nearby excavation site was strewn through the area, he said.
About 2,800 customers around Steinbach lost power due to the storm, Manitoba Hydro said. Hydro initially reported 3,600 customers in the area lost power but revised that figure later Wednesday morning.
Most of the power was restored in Steinbach but about 600 were still in the dark Wednesday morning. Power is expected to be fully restored by 7 p.m.
"We are presently assessing damage and where best to send our crews," Owen wrote in an email, adding crews from Morden and Winnipeg were sent to help restore power in affected communities.
Strong winds also were recorded in St. Malo, 65 kilometres south of Winnipeg, and Wawanesa, 200 kilometres west.
When the storm tore through the field around Shaun Cory's Wawanesa farm he said his family rushed to the basement because it looked "really intense when it rolled through."
When they were able to check out the damage, an old barn on land they rent had crumbled to the ground. Cory said there were also some damaged sheds and 13 trees torn out of the ground along the farm's shelter belt.
"That's probably the worst weather we've had come right through our yard ... It just didn't take anything really valuable is the good thing," he said.
About 50 kilometres south in Baldur, the area was pounded with 97 millimetres of rain in an hour or two, Environment Canada said. Cartwright, Boissevain, Elm Creek and Sprague were also soaked.
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