Canadian Underwriter

Spring storm in Alberta and Saskatchewan uproots trees and knocks out power

May 25, 2017   by The Canadian Press

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A nasty spring storm has toppled semis, uprooted trees and produced localized flooding throughout much of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In Saskatoon, wind speeds were recorded at 105 kilometres an hour Wednesday afternoon, leaving garbage bins strewn throughout the streets, shingles blown off roofs and at least one unoccupied vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree.

Johnathan Tremblay with SaskPower said as of 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, outages had been reported all across the province, and more than 2,500 calls for service had come in.

Two semis were reported to have tipped over on area highways as a result of the winds.

In Alberta, it was much the same story, with the addition of snow and sleet in Calgary and parts south.

The wind forced several construction sites in downtown Calgary to shut down to keep the debris from flying around and crews safe.

Environment Canada said as much as 30 millimetres of precipitation fell.

Several parts of the province were affected by power outages, including Calgary and Edmonton.

Epcor said as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 18,000 customers in Edmonton had experienced outages and so many calls came in about downed trees and power lines that the phone system shut down.

Officials said there was some flooding in parts of the River Valley Trails, Mill Creek was in poor condition, and the Edmonton Valley Zoo was closed for the day.

The high winds wreaked havoc at the Edmonton International Airport with officials tweeting that most arrivals were delayed by two hours, and some planes scheduled to land were being diverted.

(CJME, CKOM, CKRM, CTV Edmonton, CTV Calgary)