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Much of southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, under severe thunderstorm watches, warnings

Many Manitobans got a stormy start to the weekend and there may be more to come, as Environment Canada has issued severe thunderstorm watches and warnings throughout Saturday.

As of 3 p.m. Saturday, a large section of southern Manitoba — ranging from the U.S. border as far north as the Gypsumville area in the Interlake, and from Riding Mountain in the west to just east of the Steinbach area — was under either a thunderstorm warning or watch, according to Environment Canada.

Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued when when imminent or occurring thunderstorms are likely to produce, or are producing, large hail, damaging winds or torrential rainfall.

As of 3:45, those warnings were in place for much of the area north of Winnipeg and into the Interlake, including Selkirk, Teulon, Winnipeg Beach, Victoria Beach and Gimli.

Most of the rest of southern Manitoba — including the Winnipeg region — was under a severe thunderstorm watch, meaning conditions are favourable for a storm to develop, as of Saturday afternoon.

Only the farthest western and eastern edges of southern Manitoba were not included in the watches and warnings.

Hail the size of a loonie and wind gusts up to 100 km/h are the main threats from the thunderstorms, which are expected to move out of the region later Saturday afternoon or in the evening, Environment Canada said.

Meanwhile, Manitoba Hydro said crews are working to restore power after thunderstorms caused outages earlier Saturday.

“In many cases, high winds pushed branches or trees into our lines,” Manitoba Hydro said in a Saturday afternoon post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Anyone who sees a downed power line should stay away and call 911, it says.

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