Trees and power lines were downed and hail pierced through siding when a storm cell moved through the Macklin, Sask. area Monday.
Environment Canada issued a thunderstorm warning then a tornado warning for the area on the evening of Aug. 3. At 7:16 p.m. CST, it said meteorologists were tracking a severe thunderstorm that was possibly producing a tornado as well as damaging winds, hail and intense rain.
Photographs of the storm aftermath show knocked over trees and downed branches.
Brian Oates, general manager of golf operations at the Macklin Lake Regional Park, said the damage was extensive.
"It's like a bomb went through here," Oates said. "Tons and tons of clean up — but nobody got injured — It just blows me away."
Oates said the area gets storm warnings but not too many bad storms. As a result, people didn't take the first warning too seriously, he said. Then the tornado warning came. The cell phone alert said take cover and many did.
"Environment Canada, those warnings, they do help and tell people to listen to it," Oates said. "Mother Nature is something you don't want to mess with."
The golf course greens were destroyed by the hail, the clubhouse had superficial damage, houses had hail go through their siding, trucks were hit hard by hail, the local hotel had its roof partially torn off and entire trees were uprooted.
"The hail, we had from softballs to golf balls to peas," he said. "It was just a storm that changed every three minutes."
Oates said he thinks it had to be a tornado after looking at the damage, specifically because the storm was moving southeast but the damage was on the west side of buildings and vehicles.
"When I was in the house, down in the basement, there were times that it was making some really weird noises like it was almost like an airplane taking off," he said. "Then as soon as it came, it was gone."
Oates found his swinging deck chair in a nearby baseball diamond Tuesday morning. He said he's never felt heavy wind gusts like the ones last night.
The regional park's campground needs to be cleaned up as well, he said. A transformer box blew up, and the storm downed power lines and trees. He said the park doesn't have the equipment needed for the cleanup.
Oates said he isn't sure if the golf course will be back up and running before the end of the season. It's another hit during an already tough year, he said.
"Basically you get hit with COVID … and then all these rules and regulations and cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning and then you get this thrown at you," Oates said. "It's crazy, it's just bad."
He said the most important thing is that no one was injured.
Oates managed to find a positive takeaway from the storm. At least the campground will have firewood for years to come, he said.