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Powerful Sask. storm winds rip barn off foundation, destroy grain bins


A farmer near the village of Goodsoil says wind storms that tore through northwestern Saskatchewan on Monday nearly sucked his 80-year-old father out of the house.

Mark Weber said he was in Meadow Lake when he got a call about the storm and headed home.

“When we got closer to our farms there, we could see that there was a lot of debris thrown on the road. There's some plastic in the ditches. As we got closer we could see more and more trees had fallen on the road,” Mark Weber told CTV News.

“A lot of the trees that were my grandparents, trees that they planted and you can see the roots were torn right out and a lot of trees were twisted up and broken in half, like halfway up the tree. And it was there was a lot of damage to the yard. The shingles were off the house,” Weber said.

He said they had lost a few grain bins.

“We lost our barn that our grandfather had built years ago. It actually looks like it picked the barn up and moved it directly back about eight feet off the foundation and the corrals were completely demolished.”

It’s not clear if a tornado touched down in the area, but Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is investigating.

“We had no indication based on radar or eyewitness reports or anything like that of a tornado in the area. So at this point in time, we can't confirm or deny that a tornado has occurred. The investigation is ongoing,” ECCC meteorologist Sara Hoffman told CTV News.

Reports and photos have been circulating on social media showing some of the building damage in Peerless, near Goodsoil.

Weber said his 80-year-old father was home when the storm hit.

“He went to go out to move his vehicle and when he opened the door, the door was gone. (It) immediately tried to suck him out of the house. He managed to stay in the doorway,” Weber said.

“He laid down on the floor of the house. And he crawled back into the house as much as he could. He's not able to move very well and he had to lay on the floor there for a good 15 minutes while it was raining and the wind was blowing. He said that it was like somebody started up a jet engine in his house.”

Weber said his father was doing a little better, but was shaken by the experience.

“He's having a bit of a hard time with it. It was very, very scary for him. I'm sure he was the only one home so it was not a good situation.”

He said that he was also upset by the damage caused by the storm.

“To come home to something like that and see your grandparents' work, your father's work and some of your work just completely destroyed in a matter of minutes, it can be overwhelming.”

Hoffman cautioned identifying the storm as a tornado.

“It's not just tornadoes that can cause damage like that, plow winds or straight-line wind events can often cause damage that looks pretty similar,” Hoffman said. “So that might fit this case a little bit better than a tornado would.”

Hoffman said conditions in the area were ripe for severe weather.

“We had a tornado watch in effect yesterday and certainly the conditions were there for significant and severe thunderstorms and we did have large hail reported just south of the area yesterday as well.”

Hoffman said some of the reports from Monday include severe hail in the Meadow Lake region, heavy rain near Prince Albert and large hail around Lloydminster.

“It was a very active day, but no tornadoes officially on the books, at least at this point in time.”

Parts of the province may see more wild weather today, according to ECCC.

“There is both a heat warning and a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for a large swath of Saskatchewan,” Hoffman said.

“It's now mostly through central Saskatchewan central and kind of northern grain belt region.”

ECCC said that conditions could result in severe thunderstorms with strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain. 

With files from Tyler Barrow Top Stories

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