Early in the evening several fairly severe thunderstorms moved east from the mountains in Alberta. All missed Edmonton. But, one that missed suddenly extended itself and hit Edmonton with a bang. The peak wind gust recorded right when it hit was 106 km/h. It blew the concrete roof off of the entrance to the CN (Canadian National Railway) building downtown. Down at the second day of this year's Capital Ex (used to be called Klondike Days - Edmonton's version of the Calgary Stampede), there were 80,000 people enjoying the shows when it hit. Something of a panic followed. Folks left, trying to take the LRT (Light Rail Transit) system, but the storm knocked out its radio control system. Slightly after that, the wind knocked some mounting stuff for the overhead wire out on the bridge over the river, and so the bridge was down to one lane until well into the next day. Lots of trees were damaged - you can typically see several branches down on each block, ranging in size upto 7 inches thick. Luckily, there were no serious injuries anywhere in the city.
In the pictures here you can see a lot of dead and dying trees. That is caused by the leaf-roller caterpillars. We've had them for a couple of years, but it now looks like they are actually killing off one kind of tree.
|Ground flashes - where power lines get shorted out and the big breakers try to re-enable the power. Notice that the power is out here, and also for a sizeable chunk of the city due east.|