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Severe storm sweeps across Lacombe

On the night of July 20, Lacombe experienced one of its worst storms the community has seen in years.
TIMBER – A pickup truck lies under a tree brought down by the wind on 47 St. in Lacombe.

On the night of July 20, Lacombe experienced one of its worst storms the community has seen in years.

The storm, which included strong winds and torrential rain and hail, caused extensive damage in many neighbourhoods of the City.

Michael Minchin, director of emergency management for the City of Lacombe, said that the northern areas of the City were worst hit, with winds tearing down entire trees and several residences damaged by hail.

City parks, the cemetery and ball diamonds areas lost several trees to the storm but the most significant damage on private areas was from hail, said Minchin.

However, he added that a number of trees on private property were knocked down by wind as well.

City clean-up crews were busy Saturday night and Sunday morning taking care of the most urgent areas that posed safety concerns, said Minchin.

Most of the streets have been cleared of any debris that posed a safety risk at this point, said Minchin.

He added that crews will be continuing to clean up what branches, leaves, etc. are left for much of the remainder of this week.

In addition to cleaning up what branches and such still remain on Lacombe’s streets, Minchin added that the City is also inspecting Lacombe’s many larger trees throughout the municipality and crews may have to do some pruning to maintain them in the near future.

As Lacombe also experienced heavy rains last Saturday night, Minchin commented that the City’s new stormwater system is continuing to hold up to expectations.

He said that there was some pooling in areas with clogged catch-basins, but City crews were able to clear those late Saturday night and continued early into Sunday morning.

Oddly, other some areas of Lacombe were barely hit at all by the storm. Some residences reported minimal damage, if any, to trees in their neighbourhoods and loss due to hail damage was also nearly non-existent.

At the Lacombe Golf & Country Club, general manager David Clark said the damage was not too bad and, “Probably a lot better than first expected.”

Clark said the course lost four trees to wind, two large and two small and staff had some cleanup to do regarding fallen branches.

However, the quality and playability of the course were not affected and those areas that still needed cleanup will soon be taken care of.