City cleans up after sudden storm rips through Prince Albert

Prince Albert was filled with the sounds of emergency sirens and chainsaws Wednesday morning as crews cleaned up the damage caused by a severe storm that swept through the city.

The sky turned a shade of grey-green and rain, wind and hail hit the city hard at about 9:30 a.m. Streets were flooded, recycling bins and trampolines blown about and trees either ripped down or torn in half by the weather.

Visibility was nil as the story pounded the city. Dozens of calls were made to emergency services in just a few minutes. The fire department received 24 calls in just 45 minutes. That included two structure fires, several trees on fire and many downed power lines.

SaskPower said there were several outages, most of which were restored within a few minutes. Other outages took longer as crews removed debris from local power lines.

The outages caused other issues, though, with traffic lights out and phone systems down in some places. The outage delayed court proceedings, as both courtrooms and lawyers were unable to reach the Prince Albert Correctional Centre and Pine Grove Correctional Centre over the phone or by video.

Power was also out at several schools, and at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse.

The city closed the Kinsmen Water Park for cleanup due to downed trees.

Across the city, crews were removing trees from public property and using heavy equipment to clear the streets. Others were unplugging storm drains as localized flooding made certain routes impassible.

Environment Canada said 14.8 mm of rain fell and winds gusted up to 113 km/h.

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