Manitobans clean up, assess damage from severe Saturday storms
Farms in Roseisle, surrounding area lose crops after fields decimated by hail
Communities across southern Manitoba are cleaning up and assessing the damage Sunday after scattered thunderstorms dumped heavy rains and even hail across parts of the south.
Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm watches or warnings for the south and southeast parts of Manitoba Saturday afternoon and evening.
By 2 p.m., humid conditions and warm weather led to large storms, which developed in a short period of time. Winds gusted to about 100 km/h.
Winnipeg got pelted with hail later in the afternoon. Transcona was hit with quarter-sized hail.
George Gray, the Reeve of Dufferin, Man., which includes the community of Roseisle, said tornado warnings put area-residents on high-alert. He said the hail damage to crops was unlike anything he'd ever witnessed.
"It was as if someone cultivated the field," Gray said. "I've never seen a hailstorm do that much damage."
Peter Thiessen farms in the area and said he lost about 160 hectares of wheat, buckwheat and sunflowers during the storm.
"It was really looking great until yesterday," said Thiessen. "If you look at the whole picture, I guess we can consider ourselves fortunate ... hopefully we can come out and still carry on."
Thiessen said he doesn't have insurance for the farm and it's too early to know how much the damage will cost him.
About 90 kilometres away in Haskett, Man., just south of Winkler, an Environment Canada spokesperson said there were reports of small sheds being blown around from the strong winds.
Everything from crops and trees to vehicles and houses were damaged from the hail and torrents of rain.
At one point, tornado warnings were extended through Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Headingley Killarney, Manitou, Morden, Winkler, Altona, the Interlake and the surrounding areas. There were reported funnel cloud sightings, but none have been confirmed.
The city of Winkler's tornado siren sounded at least four times in the lead-up and during the worst of the weather.
The province's Alert Ready system, which aired a few days ago for the first time, kicked in and took over CBC radio waves during the tornado warnings. CBC again received a number of calls from listeners who complained about the poor audio quality of the warning.
Southern Manitoba will get a reprieve from that stormy weather Sunday, with clear skies and a high of 29 C expected.