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Pine Lake tornado remembered


Extensive damage from the large twister on July 14, 2000
Extensive damage from the large twister on July 14, 2000

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

July 14, 2011 — It's been 11 years since a deadly tornado ripped through a trailer park in Pine Lake, Alberta.

Tornado confirmed as an F3 on the Fujita Scale
Tornado confirmed as an F3 on the Fujita Scale

It's an event that's still fresh on the minds of many people. What was once known as a perfect escape, soon turned into a disaster zone 11 years ago.

On July 14th, 2000 a deadly tornado stormed through Green Acres camp ground and trailer park in Pine Lake, Alberta. And now several years later, the horrific event is still a vivid memory.

Especially for victims like Phyllis Galleberg who nearly died. She lost her left leg and elbow and was almost unrecognizable to both family members and rescue workers.

I was covered with a sheet and people walked away because they thought I was dead and they went to help other people. When they heard me cry out they came back.

Family and friends lean on each other during their time of need
Family and friends lean on each other during their time of need

While Phyllis lives to tell the story today, 12 others died and a hundred others were injured.

I come to visit and I always go to the graves there because it just made me feel so bad to think that they had to die and I had to live, says Galleberg.

The tornado touched down shortly before 7 p.m., local time, just five kilometres west of the campground.

It continued to travel east for about 30 minutes, while creating a destructive path in its wake. The twister was later confirmed as an F3 on the Fujita Scale with winds gusting to 330 km/h.

The tornado was the deadliest storm in North America that year and is still the fourth worst in Canadian history.

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