Sask. wind storm flattens houses, tears trees from ground, litters streets with debris
Province cleaning up after winds hit 100 km/h in many areas
Wind gusts overnight in Saskatchewan wreaked havoc on city streets and farmyards, leaving residents with cleaning up to do Wednesday.
At least 17 weather stations across the province reported gusts at or over 100 kilometres per hour overnight Tuesday.
Wind warnings have now been lifted in Saskatchewan.
The winds were also the driving force behind numerous grass fires in southern Saskatchewan, including the wildfire that caused evacuations in Burstall and Leader.
Russel Eirick, manager of forestry with the city, said crews started to respond to resident calls at 10 p.m. CST and continued until 2 a.m. There were 62 calls in total, and Eirick said they would likely be addressed by the end of Wednesday.
There was minor roofing and fencing damage to municipal property. A bus shelter was also damaged.
Three trees were completely uprooted or broken off in the storm, while many others lost limbs. Private trees blocking roadways were cleared up, while those broken solely on private property become the homeowner's responsibility, Eirick said.
Because it's fall and there are fewer leaves on the trees, Eirick said the trees weren't dragged by the wind as much.
"What we could've had if this was July would've been a heck of a lot worse," he said.
Two buildings that were under construction on the North Prairie condo site in Harbour Landing tumbled down due to the heavy winds. A third house in the area was also damaged.
Company CEO Andrew Williams said engineers will be assessing the situation throughout the day.
"This is the first time we've ever seen this," he said.
Williams said people on his crew also drove by two semis that had toppled over near Davidson.
Ryan Blair with SaskPower said in a media conference Wednesday that two power poles in Regina went down during the storm and a few trees collapsed onto lines in the city.
Damage to transmission lines caused short outages to parts of the city.
Moose Jaw faced a near-total outage.
Another 1,200 customers lost power in central Saskatchewan, including about 300 in Saskatoon.
Power in Shaunavon, Leader, Maple Creek and Climax remained out Wednesday.
"Most heavily affected would've been the southwest corner of the province, and we're sending additional resources to assess the damages today," Blair said.
Blair said three 72,000-volt lines went out. He said some of the lines are difficult to access, and helicopters are patrolling the lines to help create response plans.
In a media release on Wednesday, SaskTel said customers may continue to experience service outages, including home phone, cellular, Internet, and TV services until power is restored provincewide.
All SaskTel sites have back-up batteries in the event of a power outage, but some may eventually lose battery life. SaskTel said it is placing generators at key locations throughout the province.
People share photos of damage
For sale, gently used 1650 bushel grain bin. Floor and roof sold separately at different locations 1/2 mile away. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skstorm</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/westernproducer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@westernproducer</a> <a href="https://t.co/Xvxey2d8F0">pic.twitter.com/Xvxey2d8F0</a>—@ChrestenNielsen
Sad times this am as we clean up from last night's wind & goodbye to 3 large spruce trees, likely original planted in 1907! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skstorm</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yqr?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yqr</a> <a href="https://t.co/DH5nfdWKDH">pic.twitter.com/DH5nfdWKDH</a>—@Govt_House
<a href="https://twitter.com/SheilaColesCBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SheilaColesCBC</a> who has seen the wind? Our fence. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skstorm</a> <a href="https://t.co/0ku2wrMnvE">pic.twitter.com/0ku2wrMnvE</a>—@davidjhorth
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SKstorm?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SKstorm</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saskatoon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Saskatoon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/saskcresEst?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#saskcresEst</a> trail <a href="https://t.co/FhIjj5slLx">pic.twitter.com/FhIjj5slLx</a>—@mspleen