Summer storm pounds Blackfalds

Blackfalds and areas of north Red Deer were blanketed by smaller-sized, but still damaging, hail as a significant storm rolled through Alberta on Wednesday evening.

Blackfalds and areas of north Red Deer were blanketed by smaller-sized, but still damaging, hail as a significant storm rolled through Alberta on Wednesday evening.

North Red Deer and Blackfalds, as well as areas south of Rimbey and other parts of the province saw rain, thunder and lighting, wind and hail.

Environment Canada meteorologist Bill McMurtry Thursday that said wind gusts reached 70 km/h at the Red Deer Airport, but their satellite data showed it could have been gusting at even greater speeds during the storm.

“As that cold front went through it triggered a few thunderstorms in and around Central and south Central Alberta,” said McMurtry. “There were a few places that reported hail, a lot of nickle- to quarter-sized hail.”

Blackfalds mayor Melodie Stol said there were two spurts of the hail about a half hour apart and overall the storm was much stronger on the west side of the town than the east side.

“The intensity of the storm overwhelmed the system,” said Stol.

“Then you get so much hail and the hail knocks leaves and branches off, which slows down the drain system.

“It cleared up really quickly afterwards.”

She said it was a good test of the city’s newer infrastructure and its ability to handle stormy weather.

Blackfald’s on-call public works guys responded to the situation and went around dealing with problems that arose. One manhole cover did come up, but it was quickly dealt with.

The hail knocked down some tree limbs and even some trees in the Blackfalds area. The howling wind may also have played a role in the tree damage suffered during the storm.

“Once you get nickle-sized hail and if it’s hard, that does damage,” said McMurtry. “That’s denting vehicles, that’s creating problems with outdoor fixtures or furniture. It was a significant hail event as it rolled through.”

The biggest hail reported, as large as a loonie, out of Wednesday’s storm was in Elk Island National Park and along Hwy 16.

McMurtry said there is good news though as there is a ridge of high pressure over the area that should stay for at least a week.

“It will bring mainly sunny skies and not much in the way of precipitation,” said McMurtry. “We’re in for a week of summer-like weather.”

Though, this could also be a concern as he said many parts of Western Canada are starting to dry out.

“The issue now is some areas have seen extended periods of dry conditions and we have seen a large number of forest fires in the Northwest Territories, B.C. and they’re going to see the influence of this ridge.”

This means there could be issues with forest fires and forest fire smoke.

Alberta Health Services issued a precautionary air quality advisory in Central Alberta. The wildfires raging in the Alberta, Northwest Territories and in B.C. could lead to smoky air conditions. People are advised to use caution if the air gets too smoky.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Springbrook Skate Park gets financial boost

Province approves $125,000 grant for proposed skate park

ReThink Red Deer gets thumbs up from city on pollinator barn structure

Group is hoping to get a $40,000 building grant

Team Alberta athletes arrive in Red Deer on Saturday for pre-games orientation

Excitement is building with less than a month to go, says Team Alberta spokesperson

UPDATED: STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Former Red Deer man named Mr. Gay Canada

To compete in Mr. Gay World

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Most Read