REGINA – Cleanup efforts are well underway in parts of south east Saskatchewan in the wake of Friday night’s fierce storm.
Winds reaching 140 kilometers an hour swept through areas including Regina, White City and Balgonie, leaving behind extensive damage.
Balgonie superintendent, Shawn McBain, said Saturday that the entire town has been working around the clock to clean up the mess.
“I’m tired, I think the whole community is tired, but you just keep going. Do what you have to do,” he added.
Trees were left flooding the streets following the strong winds and heavy rain, and the town’s mayor Frank Thauberger said he was overwhelmed with the overflow of outside aid.
“Volunteers came from Pilot Butte and all over. Farmers came with their trucks. We just had people from all over coming to help, it was impressive.”
Volunteers explained they were happy to see their efforts paying off, but acknowledged that there was a long way to go.
A number of residents at the Heritage Court senior complex are not yet to be able to return home, after rain began spilling through their roof Friday night.
Ruth Scherr is a resident at the complex, and said that many seniors had to leave and go stay with family.
“If it affects one, it affects all of us,” she explained. “But like I said, we consider ourselves very fortunate. It could have been a lot worse, it could have been lives lost.”
Initial damages in Balgonie run into the high thousands, including a school which still sits buried under debris.
Meantime, many areas including parts of Regina remain without power after lightning and high winds resulted in trees knocking out power lines.
SaskPower reported that at the peak of the storm, about 7,000 people were without power in the south east portion of the province, and as of Saturday afternoon roughly 95 per cent of those customers have had their power restored.
The corporation said they were still dealing with isolated outages in White City, Balgonie, Maclean, and Fort Qu’Apelle.