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article image'Extreme' wind storm sweeps through Red Deer, Alberta

By Karen Graham     Jun 21, 2017 in Environment
Red Deer - A city in central Alberta, Canada experienced an extreme weather event Tuesday night that left a large swath of the community looking like a hurricane had torn through the area.
Red Deer is a city of about 100,000 residents in Alberta, Canada, located near the middle of what's called the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor. Environment Canada had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for several parts of Alberta for Tuesday night, but no one was ready for what was thrown at them at 7:00 p.m.
One resident, Christine Aldous, told reporters that conditions changed very quickly. "It was really nice and calm — a beautiful night actually. Then it hit with no real warning at all and it was crazy windy.”
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Fortis Alberta
The storm brought with it extreme winds that took down trees and knocked out power lines - tossing debris hither and yon, breaking windows and tearing shingles off rooftops. Power outages were seen in Lacombe County, Clearwater County, Red Deer County, Rimbey, Ponoka, Parkland and Bentley.
Crews worked ll through the night to restore power, however, a number of customers are still without power today. In the city of Red Deer, a local state of emergency was issued by City Manager Craig Curtis. At a press conference Wednesday morning, Curtis said that at the height of the power outage, almost 35 percent of the city was without power.
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Curtis added that by declaring a state of emergency, it opens the way for more acquiring more resources from other levels of government and allows different city agencies to work together more efficiently. The state of emergency declaration is expected to last about a week.
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Brock Priebe
CTV News is reporting that the city manager also posted a statement online Wednesday morning, saying: "The city experienced an “extreme storm last night; one that doesn’t compare to any I have ever experienced in Red Deer.” He added that, "due to the large volume and complexity of outages, some neighbourhoods may be waiting up to two days for power to be restored."
Environment Canada reports that the storm developed in the Pigeon Lake area and that the Red Deer Airport recorded wind speeds as high as 111 km/h (69 mph). Residents are being urged to stay off the streets because of the downed trees and power lines. It may take as long as two days before power is fully restored, according to the Huffington Post.
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