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Morning briefing: Arthur's fury, Prairie tornadoes and flooding and storm risk in Ontario

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Sunday, July 6, 2014, 8:02 AM -

Massive severe weather crises in the Prairies and Maritimes were the order of the day Saturday, with either clean-up, or more of the same, in the cards for Sunday.

Here's what you need to know.

Arthur pounds the Maritimes

The first Atlantic hurricane of 2014 had been downgraded to a post-tropical storm by the time it make landfall in Nova Scotia Saturday morning, but it still made for a powerful impact.

Strong winds lashed the region and left more than 200,000 customers without power at the storm's peak.

While the strongest winds were in Nova Scotia, it was New Brunswick that bore the brunt of the the system's rainfall.

Torrential downpours caused localized flooding in many communities, with some areas seeing more than 100 mm in just a few hours.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says the storm is still packing a punch, gusting up to 80 km/h as it moves through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but the storm is gradually weakening, with winds not expected to reach warning levels.

However, rough surf is to be expected by the time the storm moves into western Newfoundland on its way to the Labrador Sea.


TUNE IN: Chris St. Clair and Nathan Coleman will be reporting from New Brunswick Sunday. Watch their reports on The Weather Network.


Tornadoes on the Prairies

Tornado warnings popped up in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as part of severe storms that produced at least two tornadoes.

Eyewitnesses confirmed touchdowns near the Saskatchewan communities of Outlook and Kenaston. 

Two people in Kenaston managed to escape with their lives when the tornadoes ripped through their farm. The pair were in two separate buildings, both of which were destroyed.

There are no reports of any deaths from the storm, but tornado warnings were in effect for several hours.

In Manitoba, tornado warnings at one point covered the city of Winnipeg, but no tornadoes have been reported so far.

There is more thunderstorm risk on the Prairies for Sunday, although further west along the Saskatchewan - Alberta border, although no watches or warnings are currently in effect.

Flood emergency continues

Those must have seemed like insult to injury in a region that is in the midst of a major flood emergency after last week's torrential downpours.

Up to 200 mm of rain fell on the region last week, prompting states of emergency in communities across Manitoba and Saskatchewan, before Manitoba declared a province-wide emergency.

Around a thousand people have had to flee their homes across the region, and the military has been called in to help.

Manitoba is making preparations to breach a dike along the swollen Assiniboine River to ease the pressure elsewhere in the system, but if that decision is made, likely by Monday, the resulting flooding puts 150 homes at risk. 

Manitoba premier Greg Selinger said the breach would only be made as a last resort, and the military and volunteers are filling 125,000 sandbags a day to protect around 350 rural homes.


TUNE IN: Deb Matejicka will be on the ground Sunday with updates from Manitoba. Watch the Weather Network on TV for the latest.


Storm potential in Ontario

In Ontario, Sunday begins with severe thunderstorm watches in the north.

"Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstoms that may be capable of producing very strong wind gusts, large hail and torrential rain, with rainfall amounts exceeding 50 mm an hour," Environment Canada says.


TUNE IN: We'll keep an eye on the region. Watch the Weather Network on TV for updates.


PHOTOS AND VIDEOS: Damaging tornadoes pass through Saskatchewan; Risk of severe thunderstorms continues for Manitoba and Saskatchewan
IN PICTURES: Arthur lashes the Maritimes
Storms prompt tornado warnings in southern Saskatchewan, Manitoba
Manitoba plans to break dike to ease flooding

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