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Severe weather rips through Edmonton
Nahreman Issa, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Monday, July 20, 2009 3:28PM MDT
A scorcher of a hot summer day ended with a bang Saturday night as the sunny skies were replaced with dark, looming clouds. Pretty soon, Edmonton was under siege by Mother Nature's wrath.
Soon, winds gusted to 100 km/h in some areas, heavy rain and hail poured, thunder rocked homes and lightning lit up the dark clouds. The city was in the grips of a terrible storm that took its toll on power lines, trees and people's nerves.
Some residents are still in the dark after power outages blacked out many neighbourhoods. While crews worked feverishly to restore power, Epcor was telling customers they may not have power until tomorrow night.
"Got up this morning," said Karima Suleman. "No power, all the food in the fridge, its probably gone bad."
City intersections were left with no street lights, making them 4-way stops. A few car accidents were reported. Whyte Avenue was also left in the dark, with the only light coming from emergency vehicles.
The winds were so severe it destroyed parts of the CN Tower downtown. Emergency crews were called to the office tower on 104th Ave. and 100th St. around 10 p.m. after pieces of the front entrance way collapsed, sending concrete smashing to the ground. No one was hurt in the incident but two cars were destroyed.
Severe winds ripped trees from their roots, landing on power lines, vehicles, homes and streets.
"I looked out the window and I couldn't see the cars," said James Miller, whose truck was hit by a fallen tree. "All I could see was a giant tree."
"The tree was huge," said Jane Atkin. "The magnitude of the damage and just ripping it right out of the roots just floors me."
The storm was to blame for shutting production at the Edmonton Journal. For the first time in recent history, the Journal was never published.
"There have been occasional delays caused by blizzards and production problems," said Allan Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of the Edmonton Journal. "But to actually not have the paper, I can't recall."
Even though many are calling this storm one of the worst they've experienced, not a single injury was reported.
- With files from Scott Roberts