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Severe storms batter the Prairies


August? Or January? Thick hail created treacherous conditions on highways around Regina Saturday
August? Or January? Thick hail created treacherous conditions on highways around Regina Saturday

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

August 9, 2011 — Violent storms that ripped through the Prairies over the weekend brought large hail, localized flooding and even tornadoes to some areas.

Who needs a lake? Heavy rain flooded this park in the Regina area
Who needs a lake? Heavy rain flooded this park in the Regina area

The system began to affect southern Alberta on Friday night. One person was killed when heavy rain caused flash floods in Calgary.

By Saturday, it looked more like January than August on some highways around southern Saskatchewan as severe thunderstorms dumped heavy hail on the region.

An eyewitness said the hail was so thick, it was like driving through deep water. Numerous drivers opted to pull over and wait out the storm.

One cell showed signs of rotation, prompting Environment Canada to issue tornado warnings for Yellowgrass and Weyburn. A funnel cloud was sighted in Weyburn and winds gusted up to 95 km/h, knocking down numerous trees.

Fortunately, the storms mostly missed Regina, meaning outdoor performances scheduled for the Queen City Ex were able to go ahead as planned. Fans of Canadian rockers April Wine were undaunted by the scattered showers that moved through the area.

Recent active weather in the Prairies
Recent active weather in the Prairies

Rain was heavier northeast of the city, causing localized flooding in some residential neighbourhoods as sewers struggled to keep up with the deluge.

On Sunday night, a tornado touchdown was reported near Oak Lake, Manitoba, about 30 km west of Brandon. An RCMP official witnessed the twister, which prompted Environment Canada to issue a tornado warning for the area.

Environment Canada says the tornado touched down for about 30 seconds and no damage was reported.

To stay on top of current conditions in your area, watch The Weather Network on TV. Local forecasts come up every 10 minutes on the 10s. You can also subscribe to receive weather warnings and public alerts on your mobile phone.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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