Extensive damage caused as severe thunderstorms pass through Calgary

The Calgary Fire Department says it responded to hundreds of calls for help from residents affected by Friday evening's extreme weather, including two reported lightning strikes that damaged homes.

Officials say crews between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. fielded almost 200 emergency calls and, at about 7 p.m., were active at more than 70 separate incidents.

"This meant almost every single fire truck and crew available was out on an emergency call," the CFD wrote in a release. "By comparison, the average number of emergency responses during the same time period over the three previous days, was 31."

A number of different emergencies were being handled, including:

  • Two calls for reported lightning strikes involving homes, one of which sparked a fire inside the attic of one home
  • A section of a northeast strip mall collapsed, damaging a gas line
  • Widespread flooding in streets and intersections
  • Motorists stranded in flash floods
  • Fire alarms tripped at multiple buildings
  • Trees and branches, broken in the wind that presented safety hazards for residents and motorists

Despite all the issues during the storm, officials say no one was injured in any of the incidents.

HAMMERED BY HAIL

However, while no one was physically injured as a result of the storm, there were plenty of broken hearts in the southwest Calgary community of Evergreen after hail ended up punching holes through the siding on many homes.

Homeowners say the situation Friday evening was frightening.

"It was very, very scary," said Ninfa Manikan. "They really looked like golf balls."

She says the worst of it lasted about half an hour and caused plenty of damage.

There is no estimate on the cost of the damage from Friday's storms.

Further details on how to prepare your family and home in the event of severe weather can be found online.