August 28, 2015 6:22 am
Updated: August 28, 2015 6:33 pm

Manitoba storm brings baseball-sized hail to Altona

David Sawatzky tweeted this photo of hail in Altona.

David Sawatzky / Twitter
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ALTONA, MB — It came with little warning, stopping everyone in their tracks at Friesens Business Machines in Altona.

“It sounded like a consistent thunder,” said Ron Toews, a manager at Friesens, “machine operators stopped their machines and they went to the doors and looked out the window. It was black as night.”

Around 8:45 Friday morning, the sky turned dark and for about 10 minutes, hail as big as baseballs pounded the region causing widespread damage. Some homes had holes in the siding and almost every car was dented or had windows and sunroofs shattered.

“Made a claim,” said Carey Kehler, who’s sunroof was destroyed, “called the house insurance company they’re going to send an adjuster out and look at my roof.”

By three o’clock, more than 300 claims have been reported to Manitoba Public Insurance, they expect a lot more to come in.

WATCH: Hail hits and causes destruction in Manitoba

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Other residents of Altona reported widely varying sizes of hail. Twitter photos also showed the different sizes.

“Golf-ball-sized hail has been reported in Altona. Loonie-sized hail was reported from this storm earlier this morning in Ste. Claude,” an Environment Canada alert said.

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Watches and warnings for the area ended by 9:30 a.m.

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A storm that didn’t have to last long without causing a lot of damage.

“That shows you the force of mother nature,” said Kehler, “you can’t fight that.”

Manitoba Public Insurance says with so many claims they’ll likely open a special hail centre, by renting a community centre or arena in Altona, so everyone can come in and make their claims at the same time.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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