Manitoba

Severe storms bear down on southern Manitoba

A severe, sometimes violent, weather system that left a trail of damage in Saskatchewan is now moving through southern Manitoba.

Winds in excess of 100 km/h ripped through buildings in Saskatchewan on Sunday

A woman makes her way through a downpour on Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg on Monday. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

A severe, sometimes violent, weather system that left a trail of damage in Saskatchewan is now moving through southern Manitoba.

Early Monday morning, Environment Canada issued a number of severe thunderstorm warnings and watches that covered most of the southern half of Manitoba.

By 8:30 a.m., about half of the alerts had been lifted as the swift-moving system rolled through from east to west.

Downpours drenched Winnipeg while the sky flickered with lightning and thunder booms during the morning rush hour. Shortly afterward, Manitoba Hydro said the storm caused numerous power outages around the city.

Approximately 24,000 customers are without electricity, the majority of whom are in the East Kildonan area.

"Lightning took down a major distribution line. Ongoing storm activity and lightning causing severe damage and additional disruptions in the area," hydro tweeted.

"We're assessing the damage to restore your power safely and as soon as we can. Please use caution if traffic lights are out and treat all intersections as four-way stops."

The areas marked in red are affected by power outages. (Manitoba Hydro)

The thunderstorms are part of system that "pulses up and down" in intensity as it moves along, with some areas being hit hard and others not as severe, said Environment Canada meteorologist Mike McDonald.

During those peaks, the storms are capable of producing intense wind gusts of 95 km/h, large hail and heavy rain, the weather agency said in its public alerts.

The town of Eston, in west-central Saskatchewan was slammed by the same storms on Sunday. Roofs were torn away from several houses, while at least one home and a large farm building were destroyed, according to media reports and photos on social media.

Straight-line winds registering in excess of 100 km/h were recorded in the area but there were no sightings of funnel clouds or tornadoes.

"The fuel for these storms is heat and humidity, which Saskatchewan and Manitoba have had for a while now," McDonald said.

now