A tornado ripped through a campground in Manitoba, Canada, this past weekend, destroying resort properties and killing a 64-year-old woman while seriously injuring her husband.
According to the Globe and Mail, the Gull Lake Campground, located northeast of Winnipeg, is a popular resort area offering accommodations that include 23 trailers and cabins. “No one in the campground was prepared, and that’s no slight against Environment Canada,” RCMP Staff Sergeant Steve Saunders said yesterday (Aug. 6).
A thunderstorm developed mid-afternoon Saturday east of Lake Manitoba and crossed Lake Winnipeg. Environment Canada issued a severe-storm warning shortly before 4 p.m. local time.
By 5:19 p.m., a tornado formed as the storm hit a beach area and funnel clouds ultimately touched down at three locations, but the hardest hit was Gull Lake.
Half of the vacation properties there were either extensively damaged or demolished, said Saunders, who said residents were escorted back to the campsite Sunday.
Elsewhere, vehicles and boats were flipped over. Docks were ripped apart, as were massive hay bails. Trees were uprooted as well as farmland. Hail, in some places, was as large as baseballs.
“Some of the people at Gull Lake said it just looked like a whiteout in the winter time when it was picking up all the water. It was wild, pretty scary,” said Amy West, who owns a farm and restaurant in Gull Lake.
Raymond and Lucy Berthelette said when the hail and wind started they made it inside their recreational vehicle at the campground, but then the rain pounded down.
“We got in the door in two seconds and got down on the floor, said a few prayers, and 10 or 15 seconds later, it was all over,” Berthelette said.