Southeastern Alberta recovering from violent storm that downed power lines, damaged homes

·2 min read
A photo of felled power poles along 11th Avenue N.E., north of Parkview Drive in Medicine Hat, that the city says 'shows an example of the damage that crews are working through.' The region was hit by a powerful storm with violent winds on Monday. (City of Medicine Hat/Facebook - image credit)
A photo of felled power poles along 11th Avenue N.E., north of Parkview Drive in Medicine Hat, that the city says 'shows an example of the damage that crews are working through.' The region was hit by a powerful storm with violent winds on Monday. (City of Medicine Hat/Facebook - image credit)

Southeastern Alberta residents are cleaning up from a thunderstorm and high winds that whipped through the region Monday, uprooting trees, bringing down power lines and damaging homes and businesses.

The violent storm hit the region with powerful gusts on Monday, resulting in power outages for thousands of people in Medicine Hat, the neighbouring town of Redcliff and in Cypress County.

By Tuesday afternoon, Medicine Hat officials said power had been restored to all but 100 residents, with crews working to restore electricity as soon as possible.

The storm had forced the regional airport and hospital to rely on backup power, officials said, but both facilities are now back on the regular distribution system.

"Crews are expecting to discover broken poles and infrastructure for days to come," the city said in a statement Tuesday, adding some roads may be closed due to live power lines.

Residents in surrounding Cypress County were also hard hit, with reports of lost homes and livestock. County officials said earlier in the day that three families were being provided with lodging.

Damage to electrical and residential infrastructure in the county is said to be significant.

Medicine Hat officials said employees from the Town of Redcliff, City of Lethbridge, Cypress County, Fortis Alberta, Altalink, Alberta Health Services and private contractors are all working together in response.

"We are extremely grateful that there were no injuries or loss of life during this weather event," said Coun. Ramona Robins, Medicine Hat's deputy mayor, in a statement.

She said council's thoughts are with those residents who have suffered property damage, especially those in Redcliff and in Cypress County.

"We have deep appreciation for all of the city crews and community partners who have worked tirelessly to restore power and keep the city safe," she said.

The city said the power supply has been diverted through various substations, switches and transformers in order to restore power quickly and temporarily.

Submitted by Travis Meier
Submitted by Travis Meier

Damage in Redcliff

Jaubron Widdis, manager at Riverview Golf Club, said the Redcliff golf course saw extensive damage from Monday's storm.

"We've got trees that have been uprooted entirely, and we've got branches all over our fairways," he said.

Widdis said there was no damage to the golf club's building and no one was injured. The golf club posted a message on its Facebook page Tuesday morning asking for volunteers to help clean up the course.

The Boarding House/Facebook
The Boarding House/Facebook

Widdis said about 65 people showed up.

"The response was phenomenal," he said.

"That was super heartwarming to see how much they care about the community.… We probably had six to eight people that brought their own chainsaws, and almost everybody had at least a rake or some clippers."

The golf club hopes to reopen by midday Thursday or Friday, according to Widdis.

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