Weekend storm slams into Saskatoon, bringing flooding, hail

·2 min read
A hailstorm hit the north end of Saskatoon on Monday. (David Hutton/CBC - image credit)
A hailstorm hit the north end of Saskatoon on Monday. (David Hutton/CBC - image credit)

It may not have been an enormous weather system, but a storm that flung around a lot of tiny hail caused havoc for people in the north end of Saskatoon this weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, the storm brought high winds and a blizzard of hail to the city's north industrial park.

Evan Pady was driving to the north end Costco when he began to see dark clouds in the sky.

"It started to rain a little bit, a little more, a little more. And then it got really big," she said.

"Then it got to a point, you know, the rain came down so hard, we pretty much pulled over."

The storm quickly passed over. Once Pady arrived at Costco, he began to see the full scope of the damage.

In an indoor area used for cart storage, he saw water pouring from the ceiling, brought on by the sudden deluge.

After that, he travelled to the nearby gas pumps, where waiting cars were submerged up to their doors.

Large islands of hail could be seen floating in the water. Eventually, the gas pumps had to be shut off for safety.

"There was just so much water and people were just kind of sitting there in shock," he said.

"Nobody realized kind of the magnitude of what had just happened."

Fierce storm

Environment Canada said the storm brought wind gusts of 90 kilometres an hour.

Even though the hail associated with the storm was tiny, the sheer force of the wind would magnify any damage that came with it.

"I did hear about some some damage to vehicles," said meteorologist Robyn Dyck.

"In itself, dime-sized hail wouldn't cause too much damage. But when you have a lot of it, and if it's being thrown around at 90 kilometres an hour, that makes sense that there'd be some damage from that."

Dyck said thunderstorms can be very small. As a result, it's not surprising that many people in the city didn't see any extreme weather from the system.

"That, of course, is what makes thunderstorms so complex and tricky to forecast," said Dyck.

Environment Canada said a cold front was to blame for the storm, which eventually traveled east toward Manitoba.

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