Cleanup is underway in the Edmonton region after a wind storm ripped through central Alberta Tuesday night, causing extensive damage in some areas.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said between 7:20 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, fire crews responded to about 100 storm-related calls. Those calls included downed trees and power lines, as well as roof collapses.
Shingles and siding were also ripped from homes and businesses as the wind storm tore through the Edmonton area.
At the time, a wind warning was in place for Edmonton and surrounding areas. Wind gusts of up to 107 kilometres per hour were recorded at the Edmonton International Airport Tuesday night. All weather warnings were dropped in Alberta on Wednesday morning.
In Leduc, engineers were on site Wednesday morning assessing the structural damage to a strip mall that had part of its roof ripped off by the intense winds.
Pieces of debris from the building were scattered throughout the parking lot.
“We were shocked by the amount of damage that occurred last night,” said Kate Brisson, president of Inland Property Management which manages the building.
“It’s going to be extensive with insurance.”
Brisson said it doesn’t appear the insides of the building were damaged, but said tenants were asked not to go inside until the building was deemed safe.
“It’s open,” she said of the roof. “All the stacks are ripped off of the furnace, there’s gaps everywhere, you can see the light shining in.
“There are some openings inside but no damage that we know of internally.”
At one point Tuesday evening, EFRS said 27 of its 30 pump trucks were dispatched to calls.
Firefighters were also called to Calgary Trail between 41 Avenue and 19 Avenue SW where three semi-trucks rolled because of high winds.
Jorge Romero was driving one of the semis that rolled.
“There was some kind of monster wind that showed up all of a sudden,” he explained.
“In just a matter of seconds I was flipped on the road.”
Romero, who has been driving trucks for 30 years, was not injured. He said two firefighters had to use a ladder to get him out of the toppled semi.
“First time in history that I’ve ever flipped like that,” he said.
“That wind is bad and it’s unpredictable… Something that has that much energy to lift you up and flip you and drag you across the highway, oh my goodness.”
EFRS said no injuries were reported from the incidents it responded to Tuesday night.
EPCOR said Wednesday it was still in the process of restoring power to some areas of Edmonton.
Anyone who sees a downed power line is asked to stay back 10 metres and report it to 780-412-4500 or call 911 in an emergency.
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