'It looks like a war zone': Tornado leaves massive destruction in Erickson

Dennis Tiller says his yard looks like a war zone after a tornado ripped through his property.

‘It kind of hits your heart,’ says rural resident surveying damage at home

Surveying the damage after 3 tornadoes touch down in western Manitoba

6 years ago
Duration 1:16
The clean up is on in western Manitoba after 3 tornadoes touched down. Dennis Tiller's property north east or Erickson was hit hard.

Dennis Tiller knew a storm was coming but had no idea a tornado was on the way.

Tiller, who lives near Erickson, Man., says he's in shock looking at the destruction a twister left on his property last night.

"I've never seen anything this bad," he said. "It's just a shock to the system."

"It kind of hits your heart," his daughter Ashton Tiller adds.

An aerial photo shows the destruction a tornado left on a forest near Erickson, Man. (Courtesy Jamie Porrok)

Shingles, nails, and pieces of his deck have littered the family's yard. Trees were shattered by lightning, shops and sheds on the Tiller property are destroyed, and the family home is badly damaged.

"It looks like a war zone in here," Dennis said.

Dennis said last night's storm was so strong it flipped a trailer in his yard he estimates weighs over 4,000 kilograms.

Family watched storm from basement

Rick Proven lives near Erickson, a town about 29 kilometres away from Elphinstone. He said he was just sitting down for supper with his family when they noticed some unusual weather west of their property.

He and his son went to check it out when they saw a funnel cloud making its way to the ground. Proven said they went back to the house where he and his six relatives, including three grandchildren, fled to the basement.

They could see rain coming down sideways but couldn't hear a thing, he said. The worst of the storm passed by in about five minutes, Proven said.

Trees, like these ones northeast of Erickson, were ripped from their roots during the storm. (Caroline Barghout / CBC)

Afterwards, he went to inspect the damage.

"It was just like a bomb went off. It's about 500 meters wide, the swath that cut through the forest behind us. We have heavy bush on our property and there's nothing left standing," he said.

Proven said his house made it through the storm with minimal damage but the twister wrecked a shed, carport and play structure in his yard.

With files by Caroline Barghout and Riley Laychuk