Apocalyptic windstorm hit Alberta,Canada

December 5, 2011 – Alberta, CANADA – Beiseker’s streets looked like a scene from a movie after a wicked windstorm blew through the town, Nov. 27. Wind speeds reaching close to 100 km/h ripped the roofs off several buildings, brought down power lines and sent debris flying in the village. The Beiseker Fire Station lost its corrugated metal roof in the early afternoon, according to local firefighter Jim Fox. “It was really scary,” he said. “I have never seen wind like that before, it was more like a hurricane.” Fox, the lieutenant in charge at the fire station at the time, was preparing a second crew to assist at a Linden-area grass fire when he heard a horrifying sound. “All of a sudden, I opened the door and (the roof) peeled up and flew off and landed right in front of me,” said Fox. “It was like a freight train coming through.” Resident Fred Walters also lost a portion of his roof. The Walters were in Airdrie when it happened, arriving home to a missing roof, but took the event in stride. “It happens,” said Walters, a Town councilor. “It is an act of God, there is nothing you can do about it.” Fox said he witnessed the damage being done to the private home. “The roof… flew off when I was walking by,” he said. “It took the power line out like a butter knife.” Shaken, Fox said he felt lucky to be unharmed. “When I finally got home that night, I grabbed my kids and held them tight,” he said. Three large Dynagra grain bins were also knocked down in the storm and a Beiseker body shop’s roof peeled up, barely staying in place. Two other power lines were knocked down. The town of Irricana was also hit with the storm, although the damage wasn’t as severe. “There was damage to roof shingles on private residences,” said Town staffer Patty Malthouse. “A lot of older, bigger trees had branches down and were broken. Things were blowing around,” said Malthouse. “It felt almost like gale force winds that we had never experienced before. It was unusual,” she said. Crossfield resident Dawn Cuthbertson said her town also experienced damage, fallen trees and damage to private residences and store fronts. Power was also knocked out in the evening. “It was the worst wind that I have ever seen and I have lived here for 10 years. It was extreme weather and it snuck up on us and lasted all day so the houses were being pummeled for eight hours.” Mayor Nathan Anderson said the fire department received about 40 wind-related calls, and close to 30 trees went down. “It was gale-force winds,” said Anderson. “It was relentless, it wouldn’t let up.” The winds wreaked havoc in other communities in southern Alberta. –Rocky View Weekly

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