Farmers cleaning up after wind storm rips through central and northern Alberta

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Weather reports across central and northern Alberta on Wednesday were littered with the words “record wind storm” as new marks were set for wind gusts and sustained speeds in several areas.

Bonnyville area farmer Taylor Snyder tells Rural Roots Canada, the devastation there was unbelievable.

“I woke up in the morning and got a phone call from a neighbor on the farm and he said to me you might want to come over here, we have some stuff we’ve got to do,” said Snyder, who really didn’t know what to expect.  “I got over there and here is three 5,000 bushel Meridian Hopper Bottom Bins, that had been anchored down with cables and everything, the wind had ripped the cables right out of the anchors and they were laying all around the yard. One had actually slid on the ground, you could see the skid marks were it fell down and slid about a 150 feet.”

Snyder says the canola in the bins had been recently unloaded.

“Sure enough it seems like the bins kept rocking and eventually snapped the cables and took off!”

Snyder says unfortunately all three bins have been written off.

He says a neighbour measured the winds at 130 km/hr at one point.

The situation was similar in Vegreville where Terry James says the wind really left its mark.

“My first clue, I guess was when I went outside and looked at one little piece of wind break that had been knocked down, there was branches all over our yard, couple of watering tanks we used to store water in the summer had rolled and piled up in the hedge,” said James adding “It was a pretty nasty wind storm.”

“We usually get one or two wind storms a year, but nothing like this before.  A lot of roofs were damaged in the area, the wind didn’t get our roof because there is still snow on it, but it did rip shingles off some of our out buildings.”