Tornado causes damage on Manitoba reserve; no injuries reported
Published Tuesday, August 9, 2016 12:14AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 9, 2016 7:47PM EDT
The Canadian Red Cross is being sent to southern Manitoba after three tornadoes touched down in the region, causing damage to homes and displacing residents.
Environment Canada confirmed that a tornado hit the Waywayseecappo First Nation on Monday afternoon. Twisters also touched down in Binscarth, Rossburn and Elphinstone.
There have been no reports of injuries, but Chief Murray Clearsky of Waywayseecappo said at least seven homes on the reserve were damaged. Environment Canada said at least one building appeared to be “destroyed,” and the twister also tipped over a school bus.
Clearsky said approximately 70 people were displaced due to the damage left in the storm’s wake. Family and friends have taken in many whose homes are no longer safe to live in. Fourteen people have moved into a hotel in nearby Russell.
“We’re doing the best we can from the community here,” Clearsky said.
A number of tornado warnings were issued across southern Manitoba on Monday afternoon. Meteorologist Kirk Torneby said that a strong cold front swept across southern Saskatchewan and into Manitoba on Monday.
“With it, a number of strong storms have developed,” Torneby said.
Waywayseecappo residents watched from their decks as funnel clouds formed in the distance before approaching the community.
Jason McKee’s security camera captured the powerful storm ripping the roof off of his garage while he and his family took cover inside their home.
“It was interesting to see, but it was really scary,” said McKee’s son Kobe.
The tornado risk ended in the province before 10 p.m. But the severe storm affected other parts of the region as large hailstones fell in Elphinstone and near Russell, Man.
Neighbours have started to clean up the damage. Many homes have been covered with tarps to keep the rain out.
Canadian Red Cross volunteers are heading to nearby Russell to hand out food and provide lodging to displaced Waywayseecappo residents.
Storm chaser George Kourounis says tornadoes are actually not that unusual for this time of year.
“From a climatological standpoint, we’re at the peak of storm season right now for the Canadian Prairies,” Kourounis told CTV News Channel on Tuesday, explaining that the tornado season in Canada typically begins in June and ends in early September.
Seeing four tornadoes touch down during one storm is “slightly unusual but not rare,” Kourounis said.
With files from CTV Winnipeg and The Canadian Press