Canadian Underwriter

Frustration after emergency alerts not received before deadly Manitoba tornado

August 7, 2018   by The Canadian Press

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ALONSA, Man. – Residents are frustrated they didn’t receive emergency alerts on their cell phones before a strong tornado tore through a small Manitoba community on Friday.

The EF4 tornado moved through the Rural Municipality of Alonsa on Friday night killing a 77-year-old man and leaving a trail of destroyed homes and cottages.

Pamela Sul, chief administrative officer for the rural municipality near Lake Manitoba, says she saw a tornado warning on television and was able to flee her home.

But she didn’t have cell coverage to receive a text-message alert on her phone or even call her neighbours to warn them about the incoming storm.

She says the area always had limited service, but since Bell MTS did upgrades in June, residents have lost most of the coverage they had.

She says many people are scared and they are disappointed that it took a deadly tornado to show that it is a problem.

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