From the Calgary Herald
Residents of a First Nation reserve in Raymore, Sask., were inspecting the damage to their community Saturday, after at least one tornado ripped through the area the night before. At least 13 homes were severely damaged and one flattened completely on Kawacatoose First Nation — the latest area to be hit by the wild weather, including golf-ball-sized hail and massive flooding, that has wreaked havoc in Saskatchewan in recent days. Phone service on Kawacatoose was intermittent Saturday.
“There’s one house knocked right flat,” said a man at the Kawacatoose band council office in Raymore, a community located about 115 kilometres north of Regina, before the phone cut out. “People just saw it coming. . . . They saw the funnel clouds forming.”
Four or five farms on the outskirts of the Raymore, a town of about 650, were also severely damaged and some destroyed completely, said Brian Dionne, owner of the Raymore Hotel. There were no reports yet of injuries and residents were trying to look after those who lost their homes.
“It’s unbelievable no one was hurt,” Dionne said. “(One my employees) . . . said one of his friends ran from his bedroom to the bathroom and he and his lady were hugging each other and the toilet just blew right out the roof. They couldn’t move anywhere.”
A team from Environment Canada was to assess the damage, said severe-weather meteorologist Dan Fulton. The cold front that caused the tornado has made its way to southern Manitoba, he said.
Severe thunderstorms also developed around noon Friday south of Swift Current, according to Environment Canada. The storm, which included hail and torrential downpours, moved northeast through Wynyard into the Hudson Bay region.
Initial reports indicated two tornadoes may have hit the region, but Fulton said he could only confirm one.
Elsewhere in Saskatchewan, residents were still coping with the impacts of heavy rain. Severe storms that hit the city of Yorkton earlier this week forced local officials to declare a state of emergency. A severe thunderstorm rumbled through Yorkton, about 190 kilometres northeast of Regina, around 5 p.m. Thursday evening, toppling trees and drenching the city within 30 minutes.
Yorkton received a month’s worth of rain Thursday night, along with golf-ball-sized hail and winds gusting up to 100 kilometres an hour. The storm transformed residential streets into lakes, forcing drivers to abandon their cars in the deep water, and sent some residents fleeing from their homes in a canoe.
Stephanie Buckle said she felt numb when she peered inside the basement window of her Yorkton apartment Thursday night and saw her son’s toys floating in brown water that was nearly up to the ceiling. She waded through the waste-deep water to the entrance of her apartment building, only to find the stairs leading down to her suite were under six feet of water. “I am at a 100 per cent loss. You just got to move on and start over.”
According to Mayor James Wilson, approximately 125 people or 75 families are temporarily left without a home, and that number could be even higher as more residents return from the long weekend.
Environment Canada meteorologist Bill McMurty said the storm dumped 71 millimetres of rain at the Yorkton airport, and up to 125 millimetres was reported in other areas of the city. On average, Yorkton receives 74 millimetres of rain in July.
Children in saturated neighbourhoods also took advantage of the new swimming holes and spend the afternoon playing in the sun.
This is the fourth series of "Storms of the Century" in Saskatchewan in the last month...
Not one report linked any of it to Climate Change.
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