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Trees toppled, buildings damaged south of Edmonton as severe weather tears through Alberta

Click to play video: 'Big cleanup after severe thunderstorm tears through Millet south of Edmonton' Big cleanup after severe thunderstorm tears through Millet south of Edmonton
Residents in Millet have weeks of cleanup ahead after a severe thunderstorm downed trees, uprooted gas lines and toppled power lines Thursday night. Chris Chacon has more from the small town south of Edmonton. – Jul 17, 2020

Residents in a small town south of Edmonton have weeks of cleanup ahead after a severe thunderstorm toppled trees, uprooted gas lines and downed power lines Thursday night.

Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued for Edmonton and areas stretching into southern Alberta on Thursday evening. The storms led to heavy rain, hail and strong winds. Tornado watches were issued for areas south of Edmonton but dropped later Thursday night.

Read more: All tornado watches lifted Thursday night as severe thunderstorms sweep across Alberta again

In Millet, Alta., located 40 kilometres south of Edmonton, full-grown trees were uprooted, which led to gas lines being torn up. One subdivision along Range Road 242 was evacuated due to a gas leak.

The roof of the town’s pumphouse was ripped off, and damage was done to several houses, buildings and fences. Power was knocked out in part of the town, including at the fire station where backup generators were used so emergency crews could stay in contact with their dispatch centre.

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Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News

Kyle McNichol with the Millet Fire Department said it’s the worst storm he’s responded to since he joined the force in 2014.

“For storm-wise, this is probably one of the worst that I’ve had,” he said Thursday night.”I think there’s been worse in the past but from my experience, this has been definitely the worst call-wise… it definitely gave us a run for our money, that’s for sure.”

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McNichol said residents were helping others where they could, but there’s much cleanup to be done.

“There’s an extensive amount of cleanup to be done. There was a lot of full-grown trees that were taken down. They’ve got weeks, maybe months, worth of cleanup,” he said.

“The residents with roof repair and siding and any damages that were done… there’s an extensive amount of work to be done in this town right now.”

Closer to Edmonton, damage was also done within the city. Rogers Place arena in the downtown core suffered flood damage in the storm.

Click to play video: 'Severe thunderstorms tear through Edmonton, central Alberta' Severe thunderstorms tear through Edmonton, central Alberta
Severe thunderstorms tear through Edmonton, central Alberta – Jul 17, 2020
The Oilers Entertainment Group said Thursday night it was confident the damage wouldn’t hamper “our planning and preparation and we will be ready to host the return of NHL hockey as [a] hub city.”
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Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News
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Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Eric Beck, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Morris Gamblin, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Morris Gamblin, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Morris Gamblin, Global News
Storm damage in Millet, Alta., after a severe storm tore through Thursday, July 16, 2020. Morris Gamblin, Global News

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