We were ‘gone with the wind’

My Nikkel's Worth column

The top two topics of conversation in Weyburn and area in the last few days would be the weather, and vaccines coming to the city.

Of the two, the Alberta Clipper winter storm that pounded its way through the province late on Wednesday and early Thursday has provided something to talk about for everybody.

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You could say it was the “COVID of storms”, because it impacted everybody, and generally it wasn’t good, but was very stressful for basically every family and resident of the area.

During the height of the storm, I peeked outside a few times watching our front yard trees nervously, because the winds were threatening to break them off or knock them down.

The trees survived, but one block away, two very large evergreens toppled over onto First Avenue, pulling the power lines down, and snapped off the top of one power pole. This put us and the entire neighbourhood into darkness, and as it turned out, this also included the entire downtown business area.

Many people also experienced an outage, and for our house, it lasted until 8:30 p.m., so it was out some 17-18 hours. The house was getting pretty cold by that point, which makes me rather thankful that this version of an Alberta Clipper was not followed by a gush of -30 Arctic air, as such storms usually are.

In the hours and days that followed, all sorts of stories came out detailing the damages this wicked storm caused, like the farm trailer home that rolled three times over before smashing into bits against a tractor shop on a farm down by Torquay.

One friend told me that her family’s holiday trailer, stored on her parents farm, was hit by a grain bin, and they don’t have a clue where the bin came from, as it wasn’t their bin.

The top of the Pangman elevator was heavily damaged, and most bizarre (to me) was the photos showing the historic brick fire wall on Ogema’s Main Street being destroyed. This wall stood for over a century through all kinds of wind and storms of various sorts, and this wind just pounded it into a pile of rubble.

In the aftermath, there were many heroes who helped clean up. Perhaps the biggest heroes were the SaskPower crews who worked long hours to restore power, and in Weyburn, city workers who helped clean up the big mess left on streets and properties.