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Storm whips through Manitoba; tornado hits Hartney

Environment Canada says that a series of disturbances that tracked across southern Manitoba brought severe weather to many areas on Saturday. 

The initial disturbance, a trough of low pressure, triggered funnels clouds as it moved across eastern Manitoba in the afternoon, including some near Winnipeg. Later in the evening a cold front tracked across southwestern Manitoba and the southern Red River Valley with numerous reports of large hail along with wind damage.

That includes a reported tornado at Hartney that touched down about a kilometre west of the community at about 9:50 p.m. It threw a combine header some 70 metres. Hartney also received large hail, ranging in size from nickels to golf balls.

The largest hail — baseball sized — was reported at Woodnorth, between Virden and Reston. Golf ball-sized hail was also reported in Pipestone, and hailstones the size of quarters fell at Oak Lake beach.

In Brandon, a torrential 38 mm of rain fell in just 15 minutes, and winds of up to 80 km/h were reported. However, just 8.2 mm were recorded at the official airport weather station. The most rain ever recorded there was in 1955, when 30.5 mm fell.

The heaviest winds on Saturday were in PIlot Mound, which had gusts up to 131 km/h.

On Sunday morning, Manitoba Hydro said they were still assessing storm damage and trying to get power restored to many areas. Those who haven't reported power outages yet should call 1-888-624-9376.

Traffic lights that are out should be treated as four-way stops until power is restored.

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