National News

Storms knock out power in Saskatchewan

By The Canadian Press

KENASTON, Sask. - Residents in parts of Saskatchewan ran for cover, stared in awe or jumped in their trucks to follow what Environment Canada says were several tornadoes that hit Saturday.

The agency issued tornado warnings for numerous areas in south-central Saskatchewan Saturday afternoon, and said there were tornadoes reported near Outlook and Kenaston.

Ray Derdal said he and his son, who is 27, were in separate farm buildings at their farm near Outlook, and that both buildings were destroyed.

"It was just a direct hit. It took a 100-year-old barn that we were fixing up. It took the Quonset and it took the shop. It took the windows out of the house," said Derdal.

"It even sucked the comforters off the beds through the windows and out of the house."

Derdal said miraculously, neither he nor his son were injured.

Shannon Bestland, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said there were multiple eyewitness reports confirming that the twisters spotted at Outlook and Kenaston touched the ground.

Bestland also said she has also seen pictures of the tornadoes on social media.

SaskPower has tweeted that tornadoes have caused outages at Davidson, Hanley, Kenaston, Rosedale and surrounding areas.

Derdal said he was working in his farm shop on Saturday afternoon when he looked out the window and saw a tornado. He called his son over, and they agreed they needed to get somewhere safer. It was coming fast, Derdal said, and they decided the Quonset hut would be their best bet, so Derdal said he held the door while his son made a run for it.

The elder Derdal didn't make it out of the shop. His son hid underneath a piece of combine equipment inside the Quonset while Derdal said he remained safe under a wall of the hut. The wind subsided after about 15 seconds, and the pair jumped into a truck and drove away.

It was so dusty and difficult to see that they snagged a downed power line and dragged it, but fortunately Derdal said they it had tripped out and was dead.

Bestland said severe weather warnings were issued for Manitoba earlier in the afternoon but that no tornadoes were reported there.

Funnel clouds and baseball-sized hail were also reported in some areas of Saskatchewan, she said.

Ole Remmen said he and his brother, who is with the local volunteer fire department, watched as the tornado moved toward Kenaston but said the damage wasn't serious.

Remmen said they jumped into their vehicles to see where it would go.

"It went past the north end of town, blew through the cemetery and knocked down a couple of trees," said Remmen.

Derdal said it was his first experience with a tornado, other than seeing them on TV.

"You think it will never happen to you." Derdal said. "We're both good and able to start clean-up tomorrow, I guess."

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