A wind warning issued on Sunday for several areas across northern and eastern Alberta was expanded Monday morning to include the Edmonton region.
Environment Canada said a low pressure system over northeastern Alberta was creating strong westerly wind gusts in east-central Alberta of up to 90 km/h, which were capable of causing damage.
Shortly before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, wind warnings were lifted for Edmonton and the surrounding areas.
Watch below: Powerful wind gusts have been destructive for trees in and around the Edmonton area this week. Sarah Kraus reports.
The weather had created some issues in Edmonton, including for residents and public transit.
According to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), high winds blew a pane of glass from a tower under construction in downtown Edmonton on Monday. The damaged glass was on the City of Edmonton Tower and OHS officers ordered the glass installer to secure materials. Meanwhile, additional security guards were deployed to the site in the vicinity of 102 Street between 103 Avenue and 104 Avenue to ensure no one enters the area.
OHS said workers would secure the glass on the City of Edmonton Tower once wind gusts drop to below 50 kilometres per hour.
The city said at 4 p.m. on Monday it had received more than 200 notifications for fallen trees and broken or hazardous branches since Monday morning. City operators spokesperson Rohit Sandhu said crews would be out all evening and overnight responding to calls on a priority basis. The estimated wait time was up to six hours for lower priority calls.
Sandhu said LRT service was running as scheduled.
Watch below: Global Edmonton meteorologist Jesse Beyer’s weather forecast for Edmonton and surrounding areas for Monday, June 11, 2018.
Deb Kardash lives in Terrace Heights warned people about the dangers of big trees during storms like Edmonton’s seen recently.
“Moments before that branch came down on my daughter’s car, my son was walking home along with sidewalk there. That size of a branch could kill or seriously injure somebody. So stay inside and keep your car parked where it is safe,” she said.
She said strong wind gusts last Saturday snapped a big elm tree branch off the tree in front of her house and onto her car.
“My daughter saw it,” Kardash said. “We were doing yard work and all of a sudden she ran into the house and said: ‘Mom, your car!’ I came running out and it was like smack my windshield was smashed and the car was dented.”
A spokesperson said EPCOR responded to six circuit outages Monday between 6:20 a.m. and 2:10 p.m. Four had been restored as of 3:15 p.m., Tim LeRiche said. He explained about 5,000 customers would have been affected by the outages, but not all at the same time.
LeRiche said EPCOR also responded to some isolated outages like trees falling on wires at individual residences.
The Environment Canada warning included the Parkland County, Slave Lake and Morinville areas, all the way east to the Saskatchewan border and Fort Saskatchewan north to Wabasca.
“High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break. Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions due to high winds,” the agency said Sunday.
Environment Canada also issued rainfall warnings for areas north of Edmonton Monday morning. The same low pressure system causing the wind was also bringing steady rain, which is expected to persist until Wednesday when the system will move on.
“Total rainfall amounts of 50 to 90 mm are forecast,” the agency said.
Areas included in the rain warning included Slave Lake, Westlock, Barrhead, Athabasca and Wabasca.
On Monday afternoon, officials with the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124 said a road had been closed because of Mooney Creek flooding. They also said there were high water levels on Eating Creek and Assineau River Bridge and that “high winds are causing falling trees and hazardous downed and flying debris.”
“Mooney Creek is flooding and running across Sawridge Road, which has been closed. Crews are onsite,” officials said in an information alert. “Highway 2 is currently open but provincial government workers are onsite to assess the situation.”
People in the area were asked to avoid rivers and low-lying areas, to respect barricades on roads and to follow the directions of local authorities.
“This is a rapidly changing situation and we are trying to get the information out as quick as we can,” officials said in a Facebook post.
Shortly before 9:30 p.m., officials said personnel with the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service were going door to door in low-lying parts of the Marten Beach subdivision to advise residents to leave because of the rising water. Meanwhile, officials with the Town of Slave Lake said Lesser Slave Search and Rescue crews were sandbagging in Marten Beach.
On Monday afternoon, officials with the Town of Slave Lake said heavy rain was causing the Sawridge Creek to rise rapidly and it was expected to continue rising overnight.
“Crews are monitoring levels and checking bridges for debris,” officials said in an information alert. “The town is also arranging for pumps and vacuum trucks for flooded areas.
“Several of the stormwater floodgates, to the creek, have been closed to prevent water from backing up from the creek into the town.”
Officials said sanitary sewers and lift stations were at “maximum capacity.” Residents were asked to check their basements for sewer backups.
Crews in Slave Lake were also working to remove downed trees from roads and sidewalks. Downed powerlines were also being reported in the area. For the latest on power outages, click here.
On Monday evening, Slave Lake officials said Alberta Environment and Parks had closed the Marten River campground, Marten Mountain Road and the northshore day use area in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park.
“Alberta Parks and Environment has closed the campground to avoid possible issues that may arise tonight, as the weather system moving in has caused Hilliard’s Bay campground to be closed on the west end of the lake,” officials said in a Facebook post. “Poplar Lane is closed on the east end due to flooding.”
Officials said water levels had stabilized on Sawridge Creek on Monday evening but that they were bracing for another storm to hit at about 8 p.m. They added crews were addressing logjams on the creek.
Shortly before 9 p.m., officials provided an update and said ATCO was still working to restore power to people impacted by outages on the south shore.
Shortly before 10 p.m., officials said some streets in the area of 6 Avenue and 6 Street would be blocked off to provide room for crews to deal with surface flooding in the area.
View photos of flooding in the Slave Lake area in the gallery below:
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— With files from Emily Mertz