Gale-force winds, Lake Winnipeg waves batter Gimli area
Winds drive 2-metre-high waves over edge of Gimli pier as onlookers take photos, video
Communities across southern Manitoba got rocked by harsh weather Sunday, and some Gimli residents say gale force winds led to some of the biggest waves on Lake Winnipeg in recent memory.
CBC's Jillian Coubrough visited Gimli, where two-metre-high waves were crashing into the shoreline and over the pier.
Wind gusts in the 80 to 90 kilometre-an-hour range drove rains sideways across the lake surface through Gimli and Winnipeg Beach.
"We just came down to look at the waves," said Valerie Hesketh. "They're just absolutely awesome, which isn't a word I would normally use anyway, but they're totally awesome today."
Doug Taylor and his family came to Winnipeg from Montreal for the May long weekend.
"We were told there were some beautiful beaches in and around Lake Winnipeg, so we decided to come for a family beach day and this is what we came to see."
"This massive spruce tree landed on our cottage about 10 feet from where we were sitting," she said. "It was terrifying. I was running around in circles saying 'oh my god, oh my god.'"
Werier said she was thankful no one was hurt.
"The roof is damaged and the siding is damaged, and an old oak tree on the other side was smacked, but not bad," she said. "The main thing is if it had gone right through [the roof] or if we were on our deck we would have been toast."
Gimli Mayor Randy Woroniuk said there were fears about shoreline erosion and that properties might get damaged from high waves. Were it not for low water levels on the lake this spring, Woroniuk said the cleanup facing Gimli residents in the aftermath of the poor weather would've had the potential to be a lot worse.
Those cleanup efforts are expected to start Monday.