June 8, 2019 8:22 pm

‘Worst storm I’ve ever seen’: Thunderstorm tears through RM of St. Andrews

WATCH: A severe thunderstorm caused many people across Southern Manitoba to wake up to extensive damage Saturday.

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A severe thunderstorm rolled through southeastern Manitoba just after 7 p.m. on Friday.

The storm inflicted serious damage to a number of businesses in the RM of Andrews.

St. Andrews Stables was hit with over $80, 000 of damage.

The hay shack at St. Andrews Stables.

Marek Tkach / Global News

“After everything was done, all the horses were out in the field so we knew something had happened because they were in their pens. We came out to the back of the barn and we lost our hay shed,” says one of the property owners, Megan Ferguson.

READ MORE: Hail, funnel clouds wreak havoc, cause train derailment in Southern Manitoba


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Staff at the stables began cleanup efforts on Saturday morning, which included pulling the roof of the hay shed off the hay so they could feed all 60 of their horses.

“It’s a lot of work every day, and this just adds to it. It’s just another thing to set you back,”

In addition to the hay shed being a write-off, serious damage was done to the shelters, fences, and main barn.

“It’s not just us, it’s the whole area,” says Ferguson. “It’s the worst storm I’ve ever seen.”

Just a 20 minute drive north of the stables, you’ll find Schawbe Pumpkins.

The back half of their barn was completely destroyed by the heavy winds.

“The whole back of our shop is pretty much finished,” says Melody Schwabe, who works for the family-owned business.

“There’s a lot of it even a mile away and the front part of our shop has no roof. We got a lot of trees down, stuff tipped over, some parts of our roof stuck in the road.”

READ MORE: Thunderstorm season arrives in southern Manitoba

The Schwabes woke up to debris all over their property, along with plenty of missing items.

Melody Schwabe standing in front of what’s left of the Schwabe Pumpkins’ barn.

Marek Tkach / Global News

“It just happened so fast. It was literally like five minutes of craziness and then this was here.”

While both businesses say they’re accustomed to year-round heavy winds, they’ve never seen anything worse than Friday’s thunderstorm.

WATCH: Instagram video of downpour in St. James

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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