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Sask. town gets help from province after destructive weekend storm

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The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) has stepped up to help Carrot River after a destructive storm tore through the community on Sunday evening.

On Tuesday, the SPSA sent a team of firefighters and two members of its emergency response team to the community, according to a news release from the provincial disaster management organization. The crew will help remove debris and offer additional support, as required.

Environment Canada said the Carrot River was hit by a strong wind on Sunday night and was investigating whether it was a tornado.

"What happened in Carrot River was some kind of strong wind event. It has yet to be determined if it was a tornado," meteorologist Terri Lang told CTV News on Monday.

"Certain wind strength will cause certain damage. So you have to look at the pattern of the damage to assess whether it was a tornado, or whether it was a plough wind or straight-line winds."

The storm knocked out power in the area. About 800 homes were without power on Monday afternoon, according to SaskPower. Crews were on the scene, working to clear trees interfering with power lines.

On Monday, the Carrot River town council declared a state of emergency and activated an emergency operations centre.

“By declaring a state of emergency our community will have access to the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program. More information and support will come on this for those who experienced damage to property,” a post from the town on Facebook reads.

The community urged the residents to document damage and log hours of work, including equipment.

In an updated post on Tuesday afternoon, the community said the cleanup continued and crews had begun tree removal — fallen and unsafe trees — on municipal property. It asked the residents to avoid the areas for safety.

SPSA said the agency's mobile command post is also being deployed to the community and will act as a staging area for the response.

The mobile command post is equipped with multiple tools and resources to help the team during an incident, including radio communications, weather forecasting equipment, and various video devices, SPSA said.

The SPSA says it’s ready and able to provide other support to Carrot River as needs arise.

–With files from Laura Woodward

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