PHOTOS: Tornado touches down near Shaunavon
Environment Canada confirms a tornado touched down in southwest Saskatchewan Thursday evening.
It happened near Dollard around 8 p.m., which is 15 minutes west of Shaunavon. But while the tornado did not hit any towns, Shaunavon is cleaning up as high winds tore down trees and rains flooded roads.
Town Manager Jay Meyer said the storm hit fast and hard, filling the town’s sewers in a matter of minutes.
“Our storm sewers were actually pretty clean, but with the amount of water that was coming down, they just couldn’t keep up,” he said.
Ken Hill was inside his office at the Hidden Hilten Motel where he manages. He said the storm seemed to progress quickly.
“It started as just a nice spring shower… and within a matter of minutes we couldn’t see across our parking lots because it was blowing so hard. It was like a blizzard,” he said. “The trees that we could see were just about laid right over and it was just super windy. It ripped the flag that we had up—took it right off. We don’t know where it went.”
Storm Chaser for that area, Chris Attrell, said he didn't actually see the tornado, but he's not surprised given the conditions.
"It all of a sudden got dark and really grim looking," he said. "I was watching a part near Dollard that did have an obvious rotation. However, I was still about seven or eight kilometers away, so I wouldn't have been able to see everything up close."
He said there's going to have to be a big clean up in Shaunavon as intersections are flooded and possibly even some businesses. Trees are down, in some cases, completely crushing vehicles.
“Shaunavon’s got a lot of poplar trees that can’t withstand some of the winds that we get in situations like this,” said Meyer. “We’re planning our centennial on the third weekend in July here. Our whole year was about cleaning up and making sure the town looks good. So I guess we’ll have to take it to a whole new level.”
No injuries were reported.