People in the areas hit by Saturday’s severe storm and tornado in Alberta are surveying the damage left behind.
Tornado warning near High River downgraded to thunderstorm
High winds and hail pummeled regions south and east of Calgary, from High River to Brooks, leaving trees toppled and branches strewn.
Brooks was hit by a severe storm around 3 p.m., with wind gusts reaching 99 kilometres an hour, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
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A cyclist is lucky to be alive after becoming pinned underneath a falling tree, according to a witness.
“The guy was just riding by. He was right in front of my truck and then the tree just broke over top of him,” Luka Sergie said.
“It could have been much worse. He’s lucky because of my truck. The heavy part fell on my truck and that’s why he escaped with minor injuries.”
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According to reports from prominent storm chasers, the majority of the damage is along a five-kilometre strip near Brooks. It’s unclear if the damage was caused by the tornado itself or strong winds accompanying the thunderstorm.
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An Alberta Emergency Alert was issued on Saturday after 2 p.m., in effect for about an hour.
ECCC confirmed a tornado touched down east of High River and moved towards Blackie at around 30 kilometres per hour.
Storm chaser Kyle Hetherington recalled being in close range to the tornado.
“It was really quick. There were leaves and branches flying. Then I saw there were horses in the field and they were all running as fast as they could,” he said Sunday.
“I stopped at the farm afterwards… Thankfully, all the animals were fine. They just had one big branch break on one of the trees but they had no damage. But it was intense.”
Hetherington said the tornado was on the ground for about 10 minutes and he was left shaking from adrenaline after it was gone.
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