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Pine Lake tornado remembered

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

July 14, 2010 — It's been 10 years since a deadly tornado ripped through a trailer park in Pine Lake, Alberta.

Victims lean on each other in a time of need
Victims lean on each other in a time of need

It's an event that's still fresh in the minds of many people.

What was once known as a perfect escape, soon turned into a disaster zone 10 years ago. On July 14th, 2000 a deadly tornado stormed through a 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 he walked away because he thought I was dead and he went to help other people. When he heard me cry out he came back.

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.

Extensive damage from the F3 twister
Extensive damage from the F3 twister

The tornado touched down shortly before 7 p.m., 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 around 330km/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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