Tornado damages homes in Waywayseecappo First Nation
Canadian Red Cross steps in to help provide food, temporary lodging for those displaced by storm
Several homes were damaged and dozens of people have been temporarily displaced after a tornado swept through Waywayseecappo First Nation Monday night, about 280 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.
"There was lots of hail ... lots of debris flying around in the air," Denise Cloud, who lives in Waywayseecappo, told CBC News.
Environment Canada issued a series of tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings for southwestern Manitoba early Monday night. The storms produced large hail, intense rain and winds in Waywayseecappo, Rossburn, Riding Mountain National Park and the surrounding areas.
Waywayseecappo Chief Murray Clearsky said no one was injured, but close to 70 people were put up in the Russell Inn just west of the community not long after the tornado hit between 5:30 p.m and 6 p.m.
"You could see the debris flying in the air," Clearsky said. "I [saw] debris, I saw a trampoline, looked like a glider. I think it landed across the valley somewhere."
Six homes were damaged, their roofs twisted and shingles "sucked" away by the tornado, Clearsky said.
One home was "completely demolished" by the tornado, he said, adding the couple who used to live there just happened to leave less than an hour earlier.
Cloud said she's never seen a storm that strong hit so close to home.
"It took that trailer and roofs off some of the houses, it was so intense," Cloud said referring to the violent winds that upended a 72-passenger school bus down the street from where she lives.
Jason McKee recorded the tornado (above video) as it ripped shingles off a roof and tipped the bus on its side next door.
Eric Mentuck has lived in Waywayseecappo for about 10 years. His home was left untouched, but Mentuck said at least four homes on his street were damaged by the tornado.
Mentuck recorded a video of the tornado twisting its way towards the community earlier in the evening and posted it online.
The Canadian Red Cross is helping to provide food, lodging and other resources to help people in Waywayseecappo displaced by the storm.
"[Kids] are traumatized real bad," Clearsky said. "I put a bit of a cheer in their faces when I told them they were staying in Russell. Said there's a swimming pool there, gave them a bit of a lift, the little ones."
Clearsky and others met on Monday night to plan the cleanup that he hopes can get underway Tuesday, weather permitting.
Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Fulton said that another more short-lived tornado touched down in Binscarth, about 330 kilometres west of Winnipeg, and a third "probably" touched down southwest of Rossburn, he added.
Fulton said it's too soon to say exactly how large the tornadoes were. A tornado is classified after the fact based on the level of damage left in its wake.
- A previous version of this story said counsellors with the Canadian Red Cross would be visiting the Waywayseecappo First Nation to provide counselling services to people affected by a violent storm on Monday, Aug. 8. However, the Red Cross says it does not offer counselling services.Aug 09, 2016 12:06 PM CT