A severe storm that likely included a tornado ripped through southwestern Manitoba yesterday evening, causing extensive damage to a number of communities.
Roofs were blown off buildings, mobile homes and trailers overturned, trees uprooted and power knocked out in the communities of Pipestone, Hartney and Reston when the storm hit around 6:30 p.m. CT.
The reeve of the Rural Municipality of Pipestone, Ross Tycoles, said damage to the town of Pipestone itself is significant.
"Part of the hall roof was taken, half the rink was taken, damage to mobile homes and trailers. [It's a] really big old town with lots of trees and most of them are down," he told CBC News.
A severe weather meteorologist for Environment Canada, Rob Paola, said there was no official confirmation of a tornado, but they received an eyewitness report.
"He did see a tornado or funnel cloud that was sighted east of Pipestone a little bit after Pipestone was hit," Paola said. "And radar was suggesting there was rotation with the storm as it was going through. So everything is pointing to the possibility that was indeed a tornado that did touch down in Pipestone to do that damage."
The storm also brought hail and heavy rain, which caused extensive crop damage. The same area is still recovering from severe flooding in late June because of rain.
Manitoba Hydro said power was knocked out for about 1,000 people. They are working to get customers reconnected but said so many lines are down it could take a while.