TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Lightning strikes to the east of Camryn Lane in Brandon’s south end as a severe thunderstorm moves into Brandon late Saturday night. Emergency crews were busy responding to a variety of calls for downed trees, power lines and flooding from the heavy rain.
Wicked winds uprooted trees in the south end of Brandon, leaving residents with property damage and cleanup to do on Sunday.
Several trees snapped halfway, some knocked over tombstones, at the Brandon Municipal Cemetery on Sunday after a severe thunderstorm hit the city on Saturday night. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Eleven-month-old Eli Ariss looks back as his mother Erin Corbett surveys a large downed tree in the backyard of her neighbours home on Ninth Street on Sunday morning after a severe thunderstorm wreaked havoc over Brandon on Saturday. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Roland Vane works to clean cut up fallen trees littering his yard on Aberdeen Avenue on Sunday morning in the aftermath of Saturday night’s thunderstorm. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
The severe thunderstorm on Saturday night left many homes between Park Avenue and Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School without power for several hours.
"We have been without power since 10 p.m. last night," Susan Spring said just after 12 p.m. on Sunday. "I never would have believed that these big healthy trees could be ripped out of the ground like this."
The south end of Brandon appeared to be hit harder than other areas of the city.
Environment Canada reported more than 30 mm falling in some areas of the city in just 15 minutes and wind speeds up to 80 km/h.
Spring, who lives on Aberdeen Avenue, spent most of Sunday cleaning up several trees in the her backyard with the help of neighbours.
Fortunately, the trees missed her house and garage. Damage was limited to the trees themselves and a small retaining wall.
"We are very lucky that we will only have a minor insurance claim," Spring said. "Our neighbour in the back, a huge tree felt right onto his shed and is resting on his house now."
The damage to trees was caused by a "straight line wind," according to Environment Canada. It can be identified if all the trees have fallen in the same direction and should not be confused with tornado activity causing circular damage.
This type of wind activity is typical during severe thunderstorms in Manitoba during the summer.
Most uprooted trees fell west because of the straight line wind. Trees in the front yards of homes on streets between Fifth and Eighth fell blocking the road until they could be cleared on Sunday morning.
"A lot of trees have fallen on cable lines into peoples homes," said Penny Pierce, who lives on Seventh Street. "I know that some have completely ripped them off the buildings."
Manitoba Hydro and MTS crews were seen in the area Sunday afternoon.
The City of Brandon said arborists were visiting homes in the area to check out the damage. It could take time for them to deal with the problem trees throughout the neighbourhood.
"It is great that everybody is helping out and working together," Spring said. "People helping people and making it a really great neighbourhood to be apart of."
» Twitter: @megan_lane2
Update: City says private tree debris must be hauled to landfill
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 7, 2014