Up to 12 homes have been damaged, five of them heavily, after a tornado hit an area just 45 minutes north of Calgary.
Injuries were initially reported, but RCMP later said in an update there appeared to be no serious injuries. There were cases of livestock having to be destroyed.
Traffic was halted at times along the Queen Elizabeth II highway going both directions near Olds and Didsbury as a strong thunderstorm that spawned the tornado moved through the area. Heavy rain and large hail pelted the area.
Later it was learned the tornado passed through between Didsbury and Carstairs.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Gina Slaney, shortly after the tornado, had hit said very little information on the potential damage is available at this time.
“It’s chaos out there right now; our main priority is to deal with any injured people and make sure everybody’s safe,” she said.
The Alberta Emergency Alert system triggered a tornado warning around 1:50 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. They said they were tracking a storm that was producing a tornado.
The updates continued until 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
The tornado was spotted southeast of Didsbury and was moving southeast at 30 km/h.
The town of Didsbury has taken action to help the area residents affected by the tornado.
“At the request of Mountain View County, we have opened a reception centre at the Didsbury Memorial Complex for any County residents affected by today’s tornado, needing a safe place to go,” read a statement from Didsbury Mayor Rhonda Hunter.
According to information provided by the Town of Didsbury, all affected properties are within Mountain View County. They are asking that residents affected email email@example.com to provide their:
- Contact Phone/Email
- Brief Description of Damage
- Any assistance they may require
They also said, Highway 2A has reopened to the general public. They’re encouraging people to avoid the area to allow for cleanup efforts to continue.
Severe weather in Calgary and area
The news of the tornado comes after several tornado warnings in the Calgary area happened on Friday afternoon. A powerful cell moved through the Okotoks area, prompting a tornado warning after funnel clouds were reported in the area.
Earlier in the week, a powerful storm ripped through Calgary, downing trees, halting traffic and causing water issues around the city.