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Evening storms bring hail, winds and downpours to Winnipeg and parts of southern Manitoba

People in parts of southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, are cleaning up from a storm Thursday evening that brought hail, strong winds and localized flooding in some areas.

Hail and fallen trees have been reported by residents in several north Winnipeg neighbourhoods, including North and East Kildonan, Transcona and Garden City, as a result of the storm, which began around 6:30 p.m.

Tania Stephanson was with her two sons at the Seven Oaks Arena in Garden City when the storm hit.

“It just suddenly got darker and the rain started. But then it became like a major downpour,” she told CBC News. “Then the wind picked up and it was blowing the trees, there was branches flying around.”

Hail also piled up outside the arena’s front doors and shattered her car’s mirrors and lights, Stephanson said. 

“It was very loud and it was very creepy, and we were all kind of moving away from the glass doors and windows instinctively because it was so creepy.”

Hail sits on top of a lawn in front of a bush
Hail in North Kildonan, one of several north Winnipeg neighbourhoods that were caught in Thursday evening’s storm. (Gabriela Klimes/CBC)

Warnings, watches in effect

All evening, Environment Canada meteorologists were tracking a cluster of storms capable of producing strong winds, large hail and heavy rain.

By the end of the night, most of southern Manitoba remained under a severe thunderstorm watch. Environment Canada has severe thunderstorm warnings in effect for several areas along the western shore of Lake Manitoba and in the Whiteshell region.

Tornado warnings were issued, then lifted a short time later, for two areas — the Rural Municipality of Reynolds, which includes the communities of Ste. Rita, Hadashville and Rennie, and the Rural Municipality of Grahamdale, including Gypsumville, Moosehorn and Camper.

Stephen Berg, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said as of late Thursday evening, there was no report of tornadoes touching down in those areas.

Berg said the national weather agency has received reports of quarter-sized hail and wind gusts of up to 133 kilometres an hour in the Dugald area, golf ball-sized hail in Winnipeg and Alonsa, and nickel-sized hail in parts of the Interlake.

WATCH | Hail hits parts of north Winnipeg:

Hail hits north Winnipeg neighbourhoods

2 hours ago

Duration 0:31

Hail hit parts of north Winnipeg on Thursday as a thunderstorm moved through the city. This video shows footage shot by, in order: Lesley Eng in East Kildonan, Gabriela Klimes in North Kildonan, and Tania Stephanson at the Seven Oaks arena.

A weather observer reported 110 millimetres of rain falling over a 30-minute period in Selkirk, he added.

Driving home to Selkirk, Stephanson said they had to make some U-turns because some roads were flooded so badly, they couldn’t drive through.

While Stephanson� said her neighbourhood in Selkirk was unscathed, Arlene Cross said water flooded the street in front of her home in the south part of the Interlake city.

“It happened so quickly,” said Cross, who was watching TV on her couch at about 6:50 p.m. when the downpour started. She said by about 7:05 p.m., the rain had stopped, leaving about 76 centimetres of water at the intersection near her home.

Hail sits in a person's hand
Environment Canada meteorologist Stephen Berg said he received reports of golf-ball sized hail in Winnipeg on Thursday. (Submitted by Tania Stephanson)

Berg said it’s not uncommon for some parts of a city to be affected by a storm, while other areas are not.

“You’d end up having very, very stark differences in the rainfall amounts or hail sizes from one part of the city to the next,” he said.

In Winnipeg, Berg said the storm moved through neighbourhoods in the north, while west and south Winnipeg appeared largely untouched.

“Looks like … the north Perimeter, northwest corner of the Perimeter, all the way down towards Transcona was the main swath,” he said.

The weather agency is in the process of compiling and analyzing data from Thursday night’s storm, said Berg, who added that he expects the weather systems to clear out sometime after midnight.

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