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Monday, November 28, 2011

Windstorm blows through Calgary, fuels grass fire near Lethbridge, Canada - 27th Nov 2011

A major wind storm blowing through southern Alberta forced Calgary to close its downtown area to traffic, and led to evacuation orders for homes on the outskirts of Lethbridge threatened by grassfires.

The Calgary Fire Department recorded wind gusts of up to 149 kilometres per hour atop highrises in the city, which accounted for blown-out windows and other damage to buildings.

Reports of damage came from all areas of Calgary. In the west end, winds tore the roof of a home, while at the central TD Square shopping centre, shards of glass from several broken windows crashed into a vehicle.

Trees toppled over onto power lines, leaving thousands of city residents without power for several hours.

"Right now, there's just so much stuff falling off buildings that we're struggling to keep up with calls," Det. Dean Vegso of the Calgary Police said Sunday afternoon.

Police asked residents to stay inside their homes.

"Put as many walls between you and the storm as possible," reads a critical alert issued by the City of Calgary. "Seek shelter. Watch out for flying debris. Stay away from downed powerlines and trees that may fall. Please dial 911 only if you have an emergency." Read More