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Hail storm hits park, Eastend

Posted on June 11, 2014 by Maple Creek

A brief, but vicious storm rolled across the Cypress Hills on Monday afternoon, bringing hail and high winds.

It hit Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park at about 5 p.m. on June 9, dropping marble-sized to loonie-sized hail on the area.

The violent hail storm lasted about 15 minutes, with winds gusting up to 59 kilometres per hour.

Garry Churchill, co-owner and manager of Cypress Hills Golf Course, said it was the biggest hail he’s ever seen in the 20 years he’s lived there.

The hail stripped leaves off trees and pelted the course.

It pounded plants and flattened the grass at the golf course.

“The hail was quite big,” he said, noting the number one fairway looked like a winter scene afterwards.

The shingles on the clubhouse were also damaged.

As the hail ended and the storm continued, the park received about an inch of rain that afternoon.

The hard, sharp pieces of hail broke windows at some buildings in the area, including one at June Whitney’s property five miles south of the park.

“The wind was terrific,” she said. “I was more worried about a tornado more than anything. It had got so dark and the clouds looked horrible.”

Making its way east, the storm hit Eastend shortly after 5 p.m.

The marble-sized hail pelted the area for about 20 minutes.

Strong winds gusting up to 83 km/h snapped tree branches around town.

According to Environment Canada, Eastend received less than a centimetre of rain during the brief storm.

While the Maple Creek area has been under a couple storm watches and warnings in the last month, it hasn’t amounted to much rain. Precipitation was less than half of what it normally is for May. Maple Creek typically receives about 42 millimetres of rain during the month, but Environment Canada reports it only had about 15 mm last month. June usually sees an average of 76.5 mm of precipitation, but so far the town hasn’t even received seven millimetres.

Thundershowers are in the forecast for the area on Friday, with more showers expected on Saturday.

 

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