'It was totally gone': Thousands of insurance claims filed in Sask. after summer storms
SASKATOON -- Jeff Andersen has lived in the Lumsden area for 14 years and he says he has never had a storm pass through like the one on July 22.
“I sort of looked at the shop, expecting maybe some trees to be down and the power to be out. I looked where the shop was and it was totally gone. All that was left was some of the contents that were inside of it,” Andersen told CTV.
“The electrical is ripped right out of the panel and everything like that, so I didn’t know if there was live wires or anything down there, I couldn’t see too much, but there was debris thrown everywhere. It was a steel-covered insulated shop. We had steel and wood and insulation up to 300 feet away.”
Andersen said there was plenty of other minor damage around the property such as a toppled calf shelter, but his house was fine, and all of his family, including cows and dogs, were safe.
Andersen said he had heard there was a storm heading his way, but he never expected it to be as big as it was.
“We got a text from a neighbour saying it was hailing like crazy and it was windy, and they had gone down to their crawl space because they were afraid of the wind and all that,” Andersen said.
“When I came home I wasn’t expecting that much, maybe some trees down and the power I had heard was out. Just shock when I got there.”
Andersen is in the process of filing an insurance claim for his shop, and he is not alone.
According to SGI there have been nearly 2,200 claims reported so far since the storm and another which occurred on July 27.
“It’s entirely possible that more claims will come in as people examine their property and understand that they may have enough damage to warrant making a claim with SGI,” Tyler McMurchy, manager of media relations with SGI said.
SGI said of the 2,190 claims, 1,562 were for vehicles, and 628 were for property damage.
“The vast majority of that was caused as a result of damage resulting from hail. On Thursday July 22 in the Foam Lake area we saw a large number of hail losses. We saw some golf ball-sized hail, and maybe in some places a little bigger than that,” McMurchy said.
Kyle Fougere, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), said the province experienced a low-pressure system that moved through the province on July 22, causing the storms..
“We saw some pretty wide-spread thunderstorms on that day. There was widespread wind reports extending all the way from Lloydminster which recorded 115 kilometres an hour, down to Regina which had 140 kilometre-an-hour gusts, and all the way up to Saskatoon with 96 kilometres per hour,” Fougere told CTV news.
“There was also localized flooding in Regina, and some very large hail was reported. About three hours to the east of Saskatoon in a place called Okla Saskatchewan, there was tennis ball hail which is 6.5 centimetre hail reported.”
On Tuesday the province saw another storm that brought more hail, wind, and damage.
“Kamsack Beach reported golf ball hail, and there was quite a bit of damage out of Pelly Saskatchewan with ping pong-sized hail that shattered windows and created a lot of damage in the area,” Fougere said.
Fougere said with some hot weather coming in the form of a high-pressure system this long weekend, Saskatchewan could expect to see some more storms after the holiday.
“When that ridge of high-pressure does break down as we go into next week we’ll have to be on the watch for severe thunderstorms then as well,” Fougere told CTV.