Wind storm was a history maker

City expects it will take three to four weeks to finish cleanup

Last week’s wind storm will likely go into the books as a weather milestone.

“For us, it’s definitely one of the largest wind storm events we’ve had,” said Red Deer parks superintendent Trevor Poth on Wednesday. “We’ve had a couple of major snow events that crushed trees and limbs.”

City archivist and Red Deer’s reliable fount of knowledge Michael Dawe told him the last windstorm of this calibre happened in 1973.

Poth said wood and debris are being hauled to the city landfill, as well as the Edgar snow dump, which was pressed into service as an alternate site.

Related: Wind storm hits Red Deer

Crews have cleared all of the city’s paved trails and will have the gravel trails completed by the end of tomorrow. Then, efforts will be turned to mountain bike and equestrian trails and other natural areas.

“Probably the areas most highly impacted for us have been the Pines escarpment area and the McKenzie Trails,” he said. “There we’re seeing literally hundreds of trees down along those stretches of trail.”

Poth said the trail that runs below the Pines neighbourhood reminded him of Stanley Park following the 2006 wind storm when 10,000 trees were toppled.

In Red Deer, trees that had survived everything nature could throw at them for 80 to 100 years succumbed.

“It wasn’t just the force of the wind, it was how much whipping action the trees had. It was the gust velocity as opposed to the top speed.”

Winds reportedly hit 117 km/h in Keoma, Alta., about 35 km northeast of Calgary.

In Red Deer, wind speeds hit over 80 km/h before gradually dropping as it closer to dusk.

Overall, about 12 mm (half an inch) of rain fell in the city. Combined, the wind and rain toppled trees and left leaves carpeting the ground and plastered to the side of homes.

Power companies also had their hands full.

“Last week’s event was the largest storm restoration effort FortisAlberta has undertaken in many years, which impacted 82,000 customers in total over the course of three days,” said Fortis communications manager Alana Antonelli in an email.

Most were in the Edmonton area, but Central Alberta, including Red Deer and Lacombe, and as far south as Strathmore were also affected.

At the height of the storm, around 4:30 p.m. Fortis had 44,500 customers off at one time. The following day, the company was able to restore all but 265 customers. All were back with power by May 26.

More than 300 power line technicians from across the province were mobilized to work around the clock and make repairs to damaged lines and equipment, said Antonelli.


Just Posted

Single vehicle crash in Penhold sends youth to hospital

A youth is in hospital after a car hit a light standard… Continue reading

Local haunted house offers a chilling Halloween experience

Chad and Jarita Carlson’s annual venture also supports the Lacombe Food Bank

WATCH: Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off 2018 dancers revealed

In partnership with 2019 Canada Winter Games

Local church welcomes LGBTQ community

Gaetz Memorial United Church declares itself an Affirming Ministry

At mid-mandate and with extra cash, Liberals to chart fiscal course toward 2019

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government, right at the midpoint of its mandate,… Continue reading

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

Jason Kenney will be in Red Deer on Monday

The UCP candidate is hosting a series of town hall

Sylvan’s talent on display for fundraising show

Sylvan Lake Refugee Project is hosting Sylvan’s Got Talent Nov. 3

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month