SASKATOON -- Downed trees and powerlines, and extensive damage to homes and properties is what is left after a strong wind storm hit the town of Macklin.

“We got blasted for 20 minutes with heavy winds, rain and hail ranging in size from a pea to a golf ball,” said Macklin Mayor Pat Doetzel. “The hail was really driven hard with the wind and the wind was really, really strong.”

On Monday at around 7:16 p.m. Environment Canada issued a thunderstorm warning followed by a tornado warning for the area of the Rural Municipality of Eye Hill including the villages of Macklin, Denzil and Evesham.


(Courtesy Kathleen Yatkowsky)

The alert warned residents to take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches. By Tuesday morning, pictures of the storm’s damage surfaced on social media, showing large hail, holes in the sides of homes and debris littered everywhere.

“We got piles of trees snapped off at the roof, a lot of them snapped off halfway up the tree, there are parts of roofs lying in some areas, shingles blown off and bare wood showing,” Doetzel said.  

“There’s damage on every street.”


(Courtesy Kathleen Yatkowsky)

One of the oldest buildings in town, the Macklin Hotel and Bar also lost its roof to strong winds.

Doetzel added he saw a couple of trees have its roots ripped form the ground, taking down powerlines in the process. 

“SaskPower has been working since 9 p.m. last night to get the power back up and there’s still no power yet,” he said. 

Hank Vlietstra, a local storm chaser from Wilkie heard about the storm travelling east from Alberta and jumped in his vehicle and headed west towards Macklin to capture photos and video. 

He said he was reading warnings on his phone of more than 70 kilometre-per-hour wind gusts.

“I was driving parallel with the storm and next thing I know the wall cloud is right up close to me and I realized it changed direction and started to head north,” he said. 


(Courtesy Hank Vlietstra)

“There was lots of dust and strong wind gusts and I almost fell over trying to take a photo ... It was one of the strongest winds I experienced,” Vlietstra said.

Macklin will now be cleaning up for the next few days as chainsaws can be heard cutting down the wrecked trees and blowers and lawn mowers cleaning up the debris. 

Doetzel said he estimates the repairs could cost up to $5 million, recalling a hail storm that hit the town in 2004.

“There will be a lot of work for many repair companies in the next few days. I am really happy to see the people in the community all pitching in and out there cleaning up.