Hailstorm floods Cardston street, leaves cleanup for businesses

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The cleanup is underway in Cardston after a severe hailstorm hit the town late Monday. It left the town’s storm drains clogged and even led to some localized flooding. Erik Bay has more on the storm – Jul 6, 2021

A burst of hail Monday evening — knocking leaves and branches from trees — left parts of Cardston’s Main Street underwater.

Town of Cardston public works foreman LaNark Duce says the debris covered storm drains, causing the flood.

“The water just couldn’t flow,” Duce said Tuesday. “There was so much volume that any restriction just backed everything up.”

Evidence of the storm was everywhere Tuesday afternoon, with piles of hail lining sidewalks and leaves scattered over streets.

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Some businesses had fans in their doorways, trying to dry their floors, while at least one business closed for the day to clean up.

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CSL Ford has hail nets protecting its vehicles from damage, but general manager Skyler Leavitt says it wasn’t the size but the amount of hail that was unprecedented.

“There was a ton of it. It went on for a long time, which is unusual for hailstorms in our area,” Leavitt said.

While avoiding the worst of the flooding, the dealership wasn’t completely unscathed.

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“There was one section of the hail net that after the storm was done and sitting there, it actually popped and broke down one of the seams,” Leavitt said.

Duce says town crews will be checking drains after the storm and clearing debris.

“All the storm drains are plugged, catch basins are plugged so we have to open everything up,” Duce said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Environment Canada had several severe thunderstorm watches in place in southwestern Alberta, including in Cardston, Fort Macleod and Magrath.

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