Saskatchewan

'Couldn't believe our eyes': Crops, equipment damaged by storm near Ituna last week

A hail storm on September 17, 2019 was captured on video by one of the local residents.

A hail storm on September 17 was captured on video by one of the local residents.

Tammy Bulych took a video of the hail coming down outside her house near Ituna, Sask., on Sept. 17, 2019. (Life With Weather/Youtube)

Jennifer Brewer-Duda had arrived home in Ituna, Sask. about an hour before the storm hit on September 17. It was getting windy she said, but then all of a sudden the hail started coming down. 

"It was insane. I've never seen a hailstorm like that before," Brewer-Duda said. 

The hail happened in two waves, Brewer-Duda said. But her friend, Tammy Bulych's land was hit the hardest, she said. 

Bulych lives on an acreage nearby. When the storm hit she couldn't believe what she was seeing out her front window. 

"It started out with flashes of lightning, like nonstop," she said then the hail hit. "The sound was like as if we had tin on our roof. It was hitting so hard." 

The hail storm broke two of her windows, Tammy Bulych said. (Submitted by Tammy Bulych)
A cracked windshield was just one part of the damage done to Tammy Bulych's property. (Submitted by Tammy Bulych)

Bulych didn't know what to expect as she didn't receive an alert on her phone about a thunderstorm in the area. Bulych, her husband and two children were all watching the storm and preparing to go downstairs in case the living room window shattered. They didn't end up needing to but two other windows were shattered by the storm. 

"It looks like a blizzard in the wintertime out there," she said. "We're kind of starting to think that maybe it was a twister that went through our yard. Like it was too dark outside to tell but just the intensity of the hail, I knew there for sure was going to be a lot of damage."

Tammy Bulych's son's truck cover was broken by the hail storm. (Submitted by Tammy Bulych)

In the light of the next morning, Bulych could see the damage clearly. Her son's truck's windshield was completely shattered, so was his truck cover, their spruce tree was shredded, branches were everywhere and there were dents in the grass, she said. 

"It was unreal," she said. "Just couldn't believe our eyes."

They phoned their insurance company and went to work, she said. It was disheartening to see the house her husband had built by hand damaged like that, but they were all OK, she said. 

The video Bulych took during the storm has been viewed tens of thousands of times over social media. When Bulych realized how far it had gone she said it was "quite overwhelming."

"It's amazing how fast social media works and how fast it just can be used from website to website," she said. "I honestly never thought it would be that popular."

Tammy Bulych's garage door was dented from the hail storm. (Submitted by Tammy Bulych)
There were branches all over her acreage after the storm, Tammy Bulych said. (Submitted by Tammy Bulych)

In the town of Ituna, Brewer-Duda's eavestrough, vehicles, shingles, and garage door were all damaged, she said. 

"All the sewers were pretty much clogged with debris. The streets were filling and filling and coming up the lawn," she said. "A lot of people have absolutely 100 percent crop damage and so they're being adjusted for that."

'There was nothing left' of some farmer's fields 

A surprising moment for Brewer-Duda the morning after the storm was seeing the fields. Farmers are typically behind their average when it comes to harvesting crops for this time of year, and the storm didn't help. 

"It honestly looked like they just combined it. There was nothing left of their wheat, their barley, their oats or anything like that."

"Just rows and rows of white canola and it looks like frost is sitting on top. That's how white it is,"

A lot of farm equipment sustained hail damage as well and will need to be replaced, Brewer-Duda said.

"Everybody's kind of down and out," she said. "It's been the rain and the crops aren't dry enough to get in there and then the hail just topped it off." 

What the community and her family needs is weeks of hot, dry and windy weather, Brewer-Duda said. But she's hopeful after the snow in this weekend's forecast melts, the ideal weather will arrive. 

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