Manitoba·Video

Violent storm peels roof off Winnipeg apartment building

The roof of an apartment complex in Winnipeg was peeled off the building like a sardine can as a storm and violent winds pushed their way through the city Wednesday night.

Insulation material from roof seen scattered across Sinclair Street, Leila Avenue intersection

Violent storm peels roof off Winnipeg apartment building

6 years ago
Duration 0:39
The roof of an apartment complex in Winnipeg was peeled off the building like a sardine can as a storm and violent winds forced their way through the city Wednesday night.

The roof of an apartment complex in Winnipeg was peeled off the building like a sardine can as a storm and violent winds forced their way through the city Wednesday night.

Police and emergency crews were called to a building in the 2000 block of Sinclair Street at about 8:45 p.m.

Insulation from the building was strewn across lawns and boulevards near Leila Avenue at the northeast edge of the Garden City neighbourhood. 

The underside of the roof appeared to be flipped up and facing the sky, and a large part of the roof could be seen dangling over the edge of the top of the building.

RAW: Lightning cracks over Winnipeg during thunderstorm

6 years ago
Duration 0:42
A forceful storm swept over Winnipeg Wednesday night.

'Heard a big bang'

Len Bakalinsky lives on the fourth floor of the building and said he heard a loud noise but couldn't figure out where it came from.

"I didn't know what was happening until I heard a big bang and then all hell broke loose after that," he said.

Then, his phone rang.

"My neighbour next door called me and said, 'Look at all the water in my apartment.' We didn't get any," Bakalinsky said, adding several other neighbours have said their suites have also taken on water.

Building still 'fully encapsulated'

District fire Chief Bruce Melnyk said he has never seen anything like it in his career. 

The initial call that came in was for a possible building collapse.

Upon arrival, crews determined that while a portion of the roof had been torn off, the building itself was still structurally intact, Melnyk said.

Residents hear 'big bang' as roof peels off Winnipeg apartment

6 years ago
Duration 1:44
The roof of an apartment complex in Winnipeg was peeled off the building like a sardine can as a storm and violent winds forced their way through the city Wednesday night.

While from the ground it looked like the top of the building may have been left exposed to the elements, Melnyk said a "It's fully encapsulated still."

A concrete slab remains in place across the roof, although shingles, plywood, tar and other materials were damaged.

No one was was injured, but the north side of the building was evacuated for the night, Melnyk said. Tenants on the south side were allowed to stay in their suites.

Thousands without power

The storm brought wind gusts that left thousands of homes and buildings in Winnipeg and across southern Manitoba without power.

Two tornadoes reportedly touched down in southwest Manitoba and much of the south had been under extreme heat warnings throughout the day in the lead up to the storms.

Though the storm that hit Winnipeg packed a punch, CBC Manitoba meteorologist John Sauder confirmed no tornadoes or funnel clouds breached the city limits.

With files from Sean Kavanagh

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