Severe wind and fire caused damage in southern Alberta
Environment Canada wasn’t fooling around when they issued a wind warning yesterday morning for this weekend. The wind reached 107 km/h this afternoon. Hurricane winds are greater than 118 km/h.
Lethbridge News readers posted dozens of photos froms Southern Alberta and Lethbridge of the effects of the wind Sunday afternoon. Damage include fallen trees and branches, roofs being ripped off homes and businesses, trampolines being tossed in the air, car windows being blown out, fences being blown over, and all sorts of debris being blown over city roads.
RCMP issued travel advisories for Highway 2 between Fort Macleod and Nanton, advising commercial and recreational vehicles to avoid this highway. They also advised motorists to avoid Highway 4 between Stirling and Milk River because of poor visibility.
Lethbridge Regional Police advised travellers to avoid driving westbound on Whoop Up Drive past Copper Point. Lethbridge Regional Police also advised residents to avoid the area of 5 Avenue North and 33 Street where the wind had blown the roof off of an industrial building and the building was fully involved with a fire.
Grassfires broke out near Magrath, west of Lethbridge—west of the Old Man River— and on the Milk River Ridge south of Raymond. Residents in Sunset Acres had been evacuated, as well as County of Lethbridge residents in Section 8-22 and 9-22, south of Highway 3. No official evacuation order was issued for residents within City of Lethbridge limits, but we received several reports from residents in Copperwood, West Highlands, and Indian Battle Heights who claimed they had been evacuated by police officers.
The west fire has crossed the Old Man River, and approached Sunset Acres. One report claimed it was 10 miles long.
We received one report houses in Stirling have caught fire, but officials reported this is not the case. We received one report that two houses were burned on the Blood reserve.
At about 20:00, the City of Lethbridge posted on Twitter that the Westside fire had been contained. At 5:00 on November 28, Alberta Emergency Alert reports Sunset Acres and residences in the river valley are still evacuated and Mountain Meadows is on evacuation alert. This evacuation notice was lifted later that morning.
The County of Warner lifted their alert on November 28 after their fire extinguished itself.
At 21:00, the County of Lethbridge declared a state of emergency, which was lifted the following afternoon.
The City of Lethbridge reported a power outage on the Northside along 28 Street from 5 Avenue North because of a downed power pole. Fortis Alberta reported in the evening of November 27 that 3,000 customers were still without power, down from 30,000 earlier in the day. By the end of the day on the 28th, all but 10 had their power restored.