Man dead following 'significant' tornado in Manitoba Staff

Published Saturday, August 4, 2018 8:15AM EDT

Last Updated Saturday, August 4, 2018 11:19AM EDT

One man has died after a tornado touched down near Alonsa, Manitoba, about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, Friday night.

Alonsa Rural Municipality Reeve Stan Asham tells CTV News that a man in his 70’s died in the storm. His name is not being released at this time.

Asham said there is significant damage in the area of Margaret Bruce Beach.

Several social media users posted videos and images showing several destroyed structures near the community after the twister hit shortly before 9 p.m. local time.

Others reported seeing tennis-ball-sized hail, up to six centimetres in diameter.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has sent a team of investigators to the area to determine the intensity the twister and how long it was on the ground, amid unconfirmed reports the tornado tore a path of destruction on the ground for 30 to 45 minuts.

“It looked like a significant tornado,” meteorologist Mike Russo said in a phone interview with CTV News.

He said the team will use a drone and try and get an aerial view of the damage, adding the investigation will take a day or two to complete.

Valerie McInnes was at her camper at Margaret Bruce Beach Friday night playing backgammon when her neighbour came by to warn her about a funnel cloud.

“We watched it for a few minutes,” McInnes told CTV News. But after a few miutes, they realized the storm appeared to be heading straight toward the campground,.

“Everyone was frantically putting things in their vehicles and taking off,” she said.

McInnes left with her husband and filmed what became a tornado from the passenger side of their vehicle.

“It was huge,” she said of the twister.

They later returned to the beach and found serious damage, including destroyed homes and campers on top of vehicles.

“I have a whole new respect for the weather after tonight,” she wrote on Facebook.

With reports from CTV Winnipeg’s Beth MacDonell and The Canadian Press

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