Overland flood warning for southwest Manitoba
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An overland flood warning has been issued for southwestern Manitoba.
The two-day alert (Friday and Saturday) comes one day after parts of southern Manitoba (into Winnipeg) reported hail the size of toonies and golf balls.
The province’s hydrologic forecast centre said Thursday a rainstorm forecast to hit North Dakota could cross the international border and bring up to 150 millimetres of precipitation to communities including Brandon, Virden, Souris and Boissevain.
The province said soil in that area west of Provincial Trunk Highway 10 and south of the Trans-Canada Highway is saturated, so incoming rain could create overland flooding or significant runoff.
The overland flood warning begins early Friday and is expected to end midday Saturday.
Meanwhile, it was not yet known the extent of damage in the wake of hail that fell during a thunderstorm Wednesday just after 6 p.m.
A spokeswoman for Manitoba Public Insurance said any claims data is not available yet. Anyone who suffered hail damage can call 204-985-7000 or toll-free at 1-800-665-2410.
Meteorologists said some areas received significant-sized hail.
Scott Kehler, president of Weatherlogics, said there “definitely would be vehicle damage” around the Polo Park area of Winnipeg and in rural communities including MacGregor and Grunthal.
Kehler said hail appeared to start with golf ball size in Welwyn, Sask., and headed east, growing larger south of Neepawa, reaching toonie-sized south of Portage la Prairie and along Portage Avenue in the St. James area of Winnipeg.
“It was a pretty broad stretch, almost completely across southern Manitoba,” he said. “It is certainly earlier than we would see our hail season, that’s usually June and peaking in July, but it is not unusual either.”
Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said it only issues warnings if it expects hail to be 20 mm or larger. Such a warning was triggered Wednesday, amid the storm.
“It’s not 100 per cent accurate,” Lang said. “So we do watch social media really closely too.
“There were two rounds of hail here, and in the first round, there was everything from nickels to the size of toonies. The second round, the largest was loonies. They didn’t think the first round would get that big.”
Lang said a tornado warning — the country’s first of 2023 — was issued in Saskatchewan first, followed by Manitoba, after a funnel cloud was reported around Hamiota.
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