Driving assessment

Damage assessment underway after storm in central Alberta – Edmonton

Damage is being assessed after Monday’s storm tore through central Alberta.

Farmers were out inspecting their crops on Tuesday after softball-sized hail left a swathe of damage.

Jim Terpsma farms near Rocky Mountain House and said his crops were thrashed.

“Estimated 50% loss on that,” Terpsma said. “The canola seemed to hold up well against that. Wheat held up pretty well, but barley and corn really suffered.

Farmer Jim Terpsma estimates he lost half his crop in a severe hailstorm on August 1, 2022.

He said it was a tough loss to swallow.

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“Just dollar signs floating in the sky. It looked like a very promising year – input costs are high, but prices are also high. So obviously a huge economic loss.

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Insurance provider Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) said claims from Monday’s storm will take some time to arrive, but the numbers are trending up.

“Clients have 14 days after a storm to report their losses,” said George Kueber, AFSC Provincial Adjustments Manager. “We don’t have a complaint number in the sense that we can give you a specific number because these complaints are still coming in, but we have an above average trend.”

Keuber said the AFSC handles about 7,000 claims in a normal season.

“We really encourage our customers to take a good look at their fields after a storm. We understand that they can’t always get there right away. We understand that our customers in those areas where they’ve had some of these storms are under a lot of stress and pressure. Ultimately, our experts start working in these storms and we will get there,” he said.

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Edmontonian Gibran Marquez was still recovering from the shock of the storm on Tuesday.

Marquez and a few friends were returning to Edmonton from a weekend music festival in Calgary when they received a tornado warning on their phones just south of Red Deer. They had their eyes raised to the sky when they encountered the first sign of the storm they were riding in – a piece of softball-sized hail hitting the highway and bouncing 30ft into a ditch. .

“The sight of this frightened us. We all had goosebumps and we stopped right away and it just started to bore us,” Marquez recalled.

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“Our rear window was blown out from the start. All of a sudden, you started seeing, one by one, the left and right windows being blown out. At this point I started grabbing things just to throw them at my driver and passenger just so they could have something to protect themselves up front, give them my backpack, like really try to understand things.

Marquez’s video posted to Twitter shows the huge hailstone flying sideways, hitting him, the driver and the passenger.

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“My driver/best friend is constantly getting killed in the ribs (and) side of his body, like he’s getting hit by someone. It really freaked me out,” he said.

As the storm raged, Marquez said he began to fear for his life.

“I tend to be a quiet person in these kinds of situations, but there came a time when even I made a phone call to my parents like, ‘Hey, I love you guys. I don’t I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I just want you to know that I love you I never want to make that phone call again, ever.

Marquez said he suffered a mild concussion and some scratches on the left side of his body, while his friend who was driving has bruised ribs. The vehicle was destroyed.

Marquez said he was lucky to be alive.

“Your conclusion is that life can change in seconds, right? a sunroof.

East of Innisfail, resident Chris Malone said it was a storm like he had never seen before that hit his home on Monday.

“All of our vehicles are in a sorry state of repair – extensive damage to glass, extensive bodily damage to everything in the yard. Roofs, siding, everything on the house and the store is damaged. It was a very powerful hail the size of a tennis ball,” Malone said. “Nothing was spared.”

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Malone said he just finished storm repairs two years ago.

“We are still finishing since the last time high winds blew and caused damage and now we can start all over again.”

— With files by Tom Vernon

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