98-year-old barn destroyed in violent hail storm

A violent hail storm completely destroyed a nearly 100-year-old barn on a farm near Moose Jaw earlier this week.

Paul Tysdal and his wife were at their home northwest of Briercrest on Tuesday night when the storm rolled in. Hail broke several windows in their house but the barn, built in 1923, saw the most damage.

"When it cleared and I looked out the window, I could see a lot more horizon out this direction than usual and I realized the barn was gone,” Tysdal said.

The Tysdals also lost their well in the storm and had to switch to a back-up water system.

"We have a dog in the house, she's blind, a great big dog, but she got real scared after a while and I couldn't understand why,” Tysdal said. “All I could hear was hail, but I think she could hear the wind knocking the buildings down."

The barn roof blew into nearby grain bins, knocking one over and damaging others. The bins contained grain from Tysdal’s last harvest. He said he once farmed roughly 3,000 acres but has been downsizing over the past 20 years.

Tysdal retired in the spring of 2021, so his insurance claim will be limited to his home and outbuildings. Other farmers in the area will likely be dealing with the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC.)

SCIC has processed a large number of claims in 2021 due to the dry conditions .The late summer storms only add to an already difficult year for producers.

Darby Warner, Executive Director of Insurance with SCIC, said the goal is to process claims within 30 days. He said if a producer plans not to harvest after a loss, they need to contact SCIC before taking other action on the land.

“If it's silage or bail them or graze them, make sure you contact our office before you do that, so we need to see that field before something is done with it,” Warner said. “If you're going to harvest it anyway, you can go ahead and get your harvest complete and contact us after harvest and we can finalize the claims at that time.”

As for Tysdal, he said he will make a claim for the barn and clean-up. He said he has no plan to rebuild the barn but he and his wife will stay on the land where his great-grandfather first homesteaded back in 1912.

"This is just another day on the farm to go through this. You get used to it. Sometimes I think I'm beginning to enjoy the challenge,” Tysdal said. "Life is short. Just enjoy what you have, and don't let life get to you.”