Weather graphic

Tornado touches down west of Edmonton

Updated Wed. Aug. 13 2003 6:44 AM ET

Canadian Press

WABAMUN, Alta. -- A powerful storm packing golf-ball-sized hail damaged buildings and caused some injuries at a lake resort and golf course Tuesday, Environment Canada reported.

Meterologist Martin Van Olst said there were several reports that a tornado had touched down about 4 p.m. at Lake Wabamun, about 60 kilometres west of Edmonton, as well as at nearby Cougar Creek Golf Course.

Environment Canada was unable to confirm the tornado reports right away.

"Radar . . . indicates a very strong storm with strong rotation showing up on Dopplar radar,'' said meteorologist Mike McDonald.

A tornado warning was issued for several communities west and north of Edmonton and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued for the city itself.

Witnesses said trees were uprooted on the golf course and people were hit by broken glass flying through the air. There were also reports of people cut by glass from shattered windshields. At least one ambulance was said to be on the site.

Course spokesman Jeff Murdoch said there was extensive damage to the grounds and clubhouse.

Damage appeared to be less serious in the community of Wabamun, although hail up to the size of baseballs was reported.

"We're getting toonie-sized hail and also a couple of reports of up to golf ball, baseball-sized hail,'' said McDonald. "We're getting reports of windshields being smashed by the hail.''

The storm was moving at about 30 kilometres to 40 kilometres an hour, he said.


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