Storm hits Calgary after week of hot weather

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Rain, thunder and lightning arrived in Calgary on Friday — a drastic shift from the blistering weather the city experienced this week.

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the city at 3:51 p.m., cancelled it before 5 p.m. and reissued it at 5:23 p.m.

“At 6:46 p.m., Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm capable of producing strong wind gusts, nickel to ping pong ball size hail and torrential rain,” the agency said.

“This area of severe thunderstorms is located from near Aldersyde to near Rimbey and is moving eastward at 30 km/h. Doppler radar indicates localized damaging wind gusts to 120 km/h.”

Environment Canada dropped the warning at 8:18 p.m.

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Global News weather anchor Gemma Lynne Stroobant said 23 mm of rain fell between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

According to Stroobant, Calgary went from 28 C at 4 p.m. to 17 C at 7 p.m.

Environment Canada reported a funnel cloud over Calgary at 5:18 p.m., which stayed in sight for nearly an hour.

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Police tweeted that the intersection of Blackfoot Trail and Alyth Road S.E. was “closed in all directions due to flash flooding,” advising people to avoid the area.

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The Calgary Fire Department said it responded to almost 200 emergency calls between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., dealing with lightning strikes, a store collapse that damaged a gas line, flooded streets, stranded drivers, blown off manhole covers, fire alarms and downed trees.

“At approximately 7 p.m., fire crews were busy at over 70 different incidents around the city, all at the same time,” the CFD said in a news release.

“This meant almost every single fire truck and crew available were out on an emergency call. By comparison, the average number of emergency responses during the same time period over the three previous days was 31.”

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Despite the severity and volume of emergencies, no injuries were reported, the CFD said.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were also issued for other parts of Alberta on Friday.

Calgary’s heat warning was still in place on Friday.

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