The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.

Weather disaster strikes in middle of the night

Emergency services received weather disaster calls at 3 a.m. on Aug. 1. The callers indicated damage from high winds and hail – and possibly a tornado – west of Caroline affecting Camp Worthington and campers near Tay River and Swan Lake.

In the dark, emergency responders had to remove downed trees to get to an RV with occupants trapped inside near the Tay River Campground.

Another RV was hit by a tree at the Swan Lake Campground, but the occupants were able to escape.
According to a source, responders reported hundreds of trees had fallen, including many that took down a power line along Hwy. 761.

The Rocky Mountain House region received two tornado warnings on the emergency alert system as a low pressure system over Alberta caused a series of supercell storms to develop, bringing heavy rain, large hail and possible tornadoes.

On July 31 at 9:45 p.m. Environment and Climate Change Canada issued an emergency alert for a severe thunderstorm, possibly producing a tornado, 20 kilometres northwest of Caroline.

A second emergency alert for a possible tornado was issued on Aug. 1 at 2:13 p.m., for a rotating severe thunderstorm 10 kilometres west of Saunders.

Weather conditions improved on Tuesday as the storms moved east.