August 3, 2018 11:38 pm
Updated: August 5, 2018 12:08 pm

One fatality after storm, tornado hits RM of Alonsa: Reeve

A state of emergency has been declared for the RM of Alonsa after a fatal tornado touched down in the Bluff Creek and Margaret Bruce Beach area, killing one person. Global's Nikki Jhutti reports.

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The reeve of the RM of Alonsa, Stan Asham, has told Global News that a man is dead after a storm ripped through the region.

RCMP confirmed the news this morning, saying the 77-year-old man was found deceased outside his home, which was destroyed by the tornado.

The tornado touched down west of Lake Manitoba Friday evening.

Asham said that he was told the news by local emergency crews when they arrived on scene to help after the tornado tore through the area.

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“It was an older male that lived alone. I came through the area and I noticed a lot of emergency vehicles. I got a couple of calls saying that the resident had passed. He was a good friend, he stood up for me at my wedding. He was a good friend of my whole family,” Asham said.

The tornado went through the area around 9 pm. He said the areas that appear to be hit hardest by the storm system are Bluff Creek and Margaret Bruce Beach.

Asham drove through the area after the storm and saw several houses with damage.

“There’s campers upside down… it sure looks a mess,” he said.

Power was out in the area Friday night.

Officials with the RM of Alonsa say the storm could have been much worse.

“We had no cell service.” said CAO Pamela Sul.

“We could see the direction the Tornado was going in and we could not warn the people down the road.”

A major issue is that the community lost its cell reception in June, and despite reaching out to providers, they haven’t learned why.

Jason Oleschak’s shop was affected by the tornado. His friends were unable to reach him.

“We have friends 15 kilometres from here trying to contact us, telling us that a tornado was coming.” he said.

“They couldn’t contact us.”

No one in Oleschak’s family was hurt in the twister. However, their shop was reduced to rubble.

Officials in Alonsa say they’ll be fighting harder than ever to get their cell service back

READ MORE: Manitoba municipality residents suddenly thrust into cell phone dead zone

Environment Canada’s Mike Russo said egg and nickel-sized hail fell in areas throughout central Manitoba.

Officials in Alonsa say they’ll be fighting harder than ever to get their cell service back.

Several tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings and watches were in place throughout southern Manitoba Friday evening.

The storm moved into Ontario on Saturday morning.

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