A punishing thunderstorm pulverized areas of southern Manitoba on Thursday night (August 9, 2007), with heavy rain, baseball-sized hail and screaming winds wreaking havoc on cars, homes and trees.
A major cleanup effort is underway in Dauphin, where giant hailstones fell for half an hour. Environment Canada says in addition to the hail, about 56 millimetres of rain fell in about an hour, while winds gusted to 98 kilometres an hour.
Brock Birss, who owns greenhouses southwest of Dauphin, said the hail was more than 10 centimetres in diameter.
"One of the pieces that I picked up that went through the roofs, we measured it. We got it in the freezer. I measured to over four inches," he said.
"It's all jagged and half-rounded, and then on the back side, it was perfectly flat."
Birss may have one of the largest messes to clean up in the area.
His greenhouses are not glass, but the hail punched large holes through their inflated plastic sides, leaving an estimated $20,000 in damage.
'Dents the size of your head' in truck
In the city of Dauphin, windows were cracked and metal dented on every cruiser car in the RCMP's fleet in the western Manitoba town, Const. Kenneth Pinsent told CBC News.
"I would say every one of them had at least a crack in the windshield to the point where it's split in the line of vision," he said.
"We had a couple of cruisers where the back window was smashed completely, and of course light bars and things that were broken on top of roofs, as well as several hundred dents."
The Mounties in Dauphin had to call out the fire department to block streets because they had so much water on them.
Lyle Stokotelny, Dauphin's general foreman, said most streets were flooded.