July 18, 2014 6:13 pm

Farmers, drivers survey damage left behind from vicious storm

CALGARY- Damage estimates are being tallied up, following a vicious storm that hit north of Calgary.

Huge hail stones rained down on communities in the Airdrie area on Thursday, shattering vehicle windshields and wiping out crops.

“This one here took a real beating,” sighed farmer Gary Olsen, as he surveyed his canola field.

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The problem is compounded because during this time of year, the plants won’t have enough time to regrow and ripen in time for harvest. Olsen adds this isn’t the first time his hard work has been wiped out.

“11 years in a row. It’s tough, you can’t live off hail insurance alone.”

A number of vehicles parked at CrossIron Mills mall in Balzac suffered serious hail damage, and drivers returned to find their windows smashed.

“For two or three minutes, it sounded like a stampede of horses going across the roof,” remembers Airdrie resident Bill Nason.

Alberta Financial Services Corporation says it has received over 100 damage claims already, and expects many more in the coming days as farmers continue to assess the damage.

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