Saturday, August 11, 2007

Giant hail in Dauphin

Well the opposition has not blamed Harper for this at least! We are actually fortunate not too have experienced the severe weather in other parts of the world such as the disastrous floods in Asia and Europe and even Newfoundland.
In our area the hail was only pea size. I left my old car out hoping that it might get written off for hail damage but with no luck! At least no one seems to have been hurt. I notice that under the spruce trees there are large piles of dead needles torrents of rain must have washed them up in piles.

Baseball-sized hail destroys windows, cars, crops in southern Manitoba
Pilot forced to land plane in severe weather; power out for thousands
Last Updated: Friday, August 10, 2007 | 8:31 AM CT
CBC News
A punishing thunderstorm pulverized areas of southern Manitoba on Thursday night, with heavy rain, baseball-sized hail and screaming winds wreaking havoc on cars, homes and trees.

A major cleanup effort is underway in Dauphin, where giant hailstones fell for half an hour. Environment Canada says in addition to the hail, about 56 millimetres of rain fell in about an hour, while winds gusted to 98 kilometres an hour.

Hailstones measuring as large as 10 centimetres in diameter fell on Dauphin, Man., during the late-evening storm.
(Bev Birss)
Brock Birss, who owns greenhouses southwest of Dauphin, said the hail was more than 10 centimetres in diameter.

"One of the pieces that I picked up that went through the roofs, we measured it. We got it in the freezer. I measured to over four inches," he said.

"It's all jagged and half-rounded, and then on the back side, it was perfectly flat."

Birss may have one of the largest messes to clean up in the area.

His greenhouses are not glass, but the hail punched large holes through their inflated plastic sides, leaving an estimated $20,000 in damage.

'Dents the size of your head' in truck
In the city of Dauphin, windows were cracked and metal dented on every cruiser car in the RCMP's fleet in the western Manitoba town, Const. Kenneth Pinsent told CBC News.

Hail damage to the windshield of a Ford F250 truck parked outside Brock Birss's greenhouse near Dauphin, Man., during the storm.
(Bev Birss)
"I would say every one of them had at least a crack in the windshield to the point where it's split in the line of vision," he said.

"We had a couple of cruisers where the back window was smashed completely, and of course light bars and things that were broken on top of roofs, as well as several hundred dents."

The Mounties in Dauphin had to call out the fire department to block streets because they had so much water on them.

Lyle Stokotelny, Dauphin's general foreman, said most streets were flooded.

'It hit so hard on the roof of the truck, it knocked the interior light out of the roof.'
—Lyle Stokotelny"Last night, I had guys out until 1 a.m., just keeping the streets' catch basins clear so the water could drain," he said.

"We had a significant amount of flooding happening on the streets because the water couldn't get into the catch basins because of all the leaves, and branches and so forth that had plugged the drains."

Stokotelny saw the ferocity of the storm demonstrated in his own backyard: "I have a new city truck parked in my yard, and there's dents in it the size of your head," he said.

"It hit so hard on the roof of the truck, it knocked the interior light out of the roof."

Farmers' fields in the area also took a beating. Alvin Dykun, who farms in Gilbert Plains, west of Dauphin, said some of his crops were levelled.

"Some were chest-high, like four feet tall, and it's unbelievable. There's nothing left at all in places," he said.

"The grass in the ditches is gone. There's no leaves on the trees. It looks like a golf course out here, actually."

Pilot forced to land small plane
Severe thunderstorms also lit up the sky at Delta Beach, north of Portage la Prairie, and in Winnipeg, bringing winds blowing harder than 100 kilometres an hour.

The storm forced a pilot to make an emergency landing in a canola field south of Portage la Prairie just after midnight.

Residents of Dauphin, Man., described hailstones like these and others the size of baseballs and grapefruits pulverizing their homes, vehicles and crops.
(Justin Tokarchuk)
The man had been flying a Cessna from Winnipeg to Brandon.

Emergency crews were led to the scene by the pilot himself, who had managed to find his cellphone after the landing.

The pilot landed the plane upright. He was assessed by paramedics and was not injured.

North of Winnipeg, several trees in Birds Hill Park were badly damaged or brought down by the storm on roads and in camping areas.

Stunned campers in the park described the wind as "unbelievable" or "like a freight train." Many abandoned their tents to wait out the storm in their cars or washroom facilities, while others simply fled the park altogether.

Power out for thousands in Winnipeg
The rough weather hit the Winnipeg area between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. CT.

Hailstones punched holes in this heavy plastic patio tabletop during the storm. The hail left fist-sized holes in countless windows at homes, stores, vehicles and even the 'golden arches' outside the local McDonald's restaurant.
(Bev Birss)
City police said many trees were blown down, mostly in the northeast area of Winnipeg.

Falling trees and branches also downed power lines, leaving about 7,000 people without electricity. Manitoba Hydro crews were hard at work Friday morning to repair damage.

A number of traffic lights, mainly in the Transcona and Elmwood areas, were still out in the morning.

Environment Canada officials said Winnipeg was hit with hail ranging from the size of a nickel to a toonie.

Residents in damaged areas across the province said they expected it will take several days to clean up all the debris.

It will take longer than that to deal with the thousands of insurance claims that are sure to pour in after the wake of the storm.

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