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Clean-up continues after deadly wind storm causes extensive damage in the Prairies

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Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Thursday, January 16, 2014, 7:00 AM -

It's a day of clean-up for some Prairie residents after damaging winds whipped through the area.

A fast moving, powerful storm moved through the northern Prairies on Wednesday bringing very strong wind gusts and record-breaking warm temperatures.

Gusts upwards of 120 km/h were reported along with nearly double digit daytime highs.


SEE ALSO: Blizzard conditions, low visibility in Manitoba


RCMP in Alberta attributed at least two deaths to the blustery weather.

According to The Canadian Press, they said a motorist who was checking his vehicle, which had become stuck after being blown into a ditch, was hit by a second vehicle also forced off the road by the wind.

Meanwhile, an 81-year-old woman was killed and five other people injured in a collision between a minivan and a car near Maskwacis.

Police say weather was a factor.

Numerous semi-trailer trucks were blown over in Alberta Wednesday and there were reports of several downed trees and powerlines.

Debris on some city streets hampered traffic and the RCMP issued an advisory to drivers to use caution on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway south of Edmonton.

Crane operators in Saskatchewan had to be pulled from their jobs when wind gusts reached more than 100 km/h.

Some schools in Saskatoon also kept students inside over the lunch hour to protect them from flying debris.

A window of a multi-storey building was knocked out and a cellphone tower was bent in half as well. 

The wicked winds wreaked havoc at Winnipeg's airport as well.

Many flights scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg were rerouted due to blowing snow.

"Winds and blowing snow will diminish late this morning across southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba," said Weather Network meteorologist Gina Ressler early Thursday. "A much calmer day is on tap."

Another system however, could result in more snow in parts of the Prairies Friday. 

"The next low will take almost an identical track to Wednesday's low, tracking into Manitoba from the Yukon, but it will be much weaker," says Ressler. "Still, snow and blowing snow could cause problems in Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Friday."

Ressler adds that Alberta will remain mild and dry under the ridge of high pressure and Calgary's high may reach the mid-teens on Saturday.

With files from The Canadian Press

Damaging winds whip through the Prairies, widespread warnings and gusts over 100 km/h
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