Yukon Weekly

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Environment Canada is looking into Sundre, Alberta. tornado as cleanup work is ongoing

Sundre, Alta., is being investigated by Environment Canada. as the cleanup continues

Key Takeaways:

  • Weather experts were on the site on Friday to assess the storm’s size and map the damage while Environment Canada investigated the twister.
  • The most severely affected property by the severe weather, less than a kilometre away, saw the destruction of numerous structures, including at least one home.

The tornado that struck Sundre on Thursday left a 1.5-kilometer swath of destroyed trees and property, but no one was hurt.

Environment Canada is currently looking into the twister, and on Friday, meteorologists were on the scene to map the damage and gauge the storm’s size.

Environment Canada meteorologist Sara Hoffman said, “You know, there’s so much we know about tornadoes, and so much we don’t know. “It’s amazing how they can harm several locations while still being one constant tornado; they can inflict extreme devastation right next to very little damage,” said the witness.

One family had the good fortune to avoid the storm. While Chris Mariak was visiting his parents with his four and seven-year-old daughters, they stepped outdoors to look at the lightning.

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The storms, Mariak added, “I saw moving straight at each other, and when they collided, they started whirling.” “Then you could hear a large, loud “WHOOSH.” It was a sound I’ll never forget.”

The grownups soon discussed their dilemma after repeatedly seeing the funnel cloud appear to touch down. Their house has no basement and is built on a pad. They decided to get in their cars and flee in the direction of a narrow route that took them away from the approaching storm.

They barely missed it and made it.

The large funnel was visible in the rearview mirror and appeared to land directly behind us, according to Mariak. Tree branches were flying over the road, as you could see.


On their land, only a few of the many trees that were destroyed by the tornado are still standing.

Another property, located less than a kilometer away, suffered the most damage from the extreme weather, destroying many structures, including at least one dwelling. Fiberglass insulation fragments were seen dangling from electricity lines, and hundreds of meters of fragmented woodlands were covered with trailers and pieces of metal roofs.

For the bulk of the day on Thursday, chainsaws could be heard practically nonstop near Township Road 320 and Range Roads 44 and 45.

Environment Canada states that this year’s heavy rainfall has left more of the necessary ingredients for producing violent thunderstorms and tornadoes than last year.

Environment Canada investigating Sundre tornado as cleanup continues
Sundre, Alta., is being investigated by Environment Canada. as the cleanup continues. Image from iHeartRadio

In 2021, the province only experienced three tornadoes due to dry and frequently smoky weather. Each year, Alberta averages 10.

The most secure and well-built room in the basement should be found if a strong storm with tornado potential is approaching. It should ideally be located away from outer walls.

As the Mariak family discovered, it still pays to make choices and acknowledge that there isn’t a single right response in every circumstance.

Hoffman advised people to “have their wits about them, be monitoring the sky, and to trust their guts when you see those clouds swiftly building getting darker very quickly, the spinning.”

Source: CTV News

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