August 9, 2014 9:25 pm

Thunderstorms wreak havoc across Southern Saskatchewan


REGINA – Many communities in south east Saskatchewan were left reeling following a massive storm that tore through the province Friday.

The storm’s aftermath in White City Saturday morning was inescapable.

Trees littered the streets after being ripped from the ground, while roofs were stripped from homes and vehicles had been tossed like debris.

Jon Kress is a resident of the town and said that he took shelter with his wife and young son in their basement, after strong winds began tearing apart a construction site across the street.

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“The noise, the cracks, the lightning, the flashes! You looked out the window and you couldn’t see anything,” he said, describing the storm. “It was just two-by-four and plywood just smashing against our house.”

Toppled trees that were snapped like twigs knocked out power to roughly 4,000 people in the region.

Operation manager at Hundseth Power Lines, Myles Derby, said extra crews were being brought in to help with the cleanup efforts.

“It’s bad. There’s days of work here to get things back to normal,” he added.

For most residents, having their power restored is the least of their worries compared to the scene in their front yard.

“It’s kind of overwhelming because it’s going to take forever to cleanup,” said resident Marie Kallstrom.

According to meteorologist with Environment Canada, Mark Melsness, winds were clocked at around 140 kilometers an hour with nearly 40 millimeters of rain hitting the ground.

“We would have been better off with a tornado because the damage would have been a lot narrower, a lot more concentrated. But this is what we call a straight line wind event. The damage was widespread and extensive.”

Back in Regina, the storm put a damper on the city’s annual Folk Festival.

The stage at Victoria Park had to be shut down late last night after a severe thunderstorm warning was announced, which meant headliner Sam Roberts Band couldn’t play at the outdoor venue.

Tents, fences and branches were knocked down, and Saturday the focus was on draining the area.

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