Tornado destroys farm south of Saskatoon
A night of active weather turned violent Tuesday night with severe thunderstorms bringing baseball-sized hail and a tornado that touched down on a farm south of Saskatoon.
It was supposed to be a relaxing evening on the porch for the Willner family, whose farm lies west of Davidson, Sask. but it turned into anything but as skies darkened and winds picked up.
Sydney Willner said her mom, dad and two dogs ran into the basement as soon as they noticed that a tornado had touched down in their yard.
Two minutes later, dad went upstairs and the yard was demolished
Generations of work was destroyed in a matter of minutes – the Willners had been farming west of Davidson since 1899.
Sydney Willner recalled the scene they came back outside.
“The shop got torn down, the barn got torn down, corals got torn down, bins got thrown across the yard, my car got crushed, my dad lost two bins, two others have disappeared, the garage got demolished, dad’s stock trailer got crushed, trees are demolished everywhere.”
Sydney Willner’s dad, Gord , was left in shock.
“There’s a hundred years worth of hard work that you can’t replace,” he said.
The tornado then continued its path of destruction onward to the neighbour’s farm where the roof of their barn was completely torn off.
A few kilometres down the road, Willner’s neighbor, Sheri Warkentin, said she saw white fuzz in the air that she figures was from the roof of that barn.
Ricky Forbes, a storm chaser with CMT’s show “Tornado Chaser,” was about a kilometre away from twister as it touched down.
“We could still see dust and trees and dirt flying up into the sky,” Forbes said.
A day after the destruction, the Willners are left with a lot on their mind as they walk around their battered farm.
“It’s pretty hard to look at 100-plus years of work and see it all gone,” Sydney Willner said.
And they’re forever thankful for the support of their dozens of friends and family who have pitched in to help them clean up.
“It’s a real testament to small communities, good friends and family – we’re pretty lucky,” Gord Willner said.
The Willners don’t know how much the damages will cost but expect the cleanup will take at least two years.
Environment Canada confirms that Saskatchewan’s seventh tornado of the year did touch down near Davidson around 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
Throughout the evening, Environment Canada issued tornado warnings for communities such as Outlook, Moose Jaw, Fort Qu’Appelle and the Rural Municipality of Indian Head.
Tree damage was reported in the town of Davidson along with softball sized hail in Outlook.
Heavy rain and hail the size of baseballs were being reported in numerous communities, and lightning was causing power outages in Regina while power lines had been snapped in some smaller towns.
The region had experienced hot temperatures of 30 C and high humidity on Tuesday.
With files from The Canadian Press
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