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Black Friday: Deadly Edmonton tornado remembered

Black Friday: Deadly Edmonton tornado remembered

Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 8:51 AM -

The Edmonton tornado of 1987, an event also known as Black Friday to Edmontonians, was a powerful and devastating tornado that ripped through the eastern part of Edmonton, Alberta and parts of neighbouring Strathcona County on the afternoon of Friday, July 31, 1987.

The tornado killed 27 people, injured more than 300 people, destroyed more than 300 homes, and caused more than $332.27 million CAD ($597 million in 2014 dollars) in property damage at four major disaster sites, making it one of the worst natural disasters in this country's history. 

The death and destruction that day got government and emergency planners thinking about better ways to warn the public in the event of a disaster like a tornado. 

TORNADOES IN CANADA: Everything you need to know

The Alberta Emergency Public Warning System was developed as a result of the storm.

Weather forecasts issued during the morning and early afternoon of July 31, 1987 for Edmonton revealed a recognition by Environment Canada of a high potential for unusually severe thunderstorms that afternoon. Environment Canada responded swiftly upon receipt of the first report of a tornado touchdown from a resident of Leduc County which is immediately adjacent to Edmonton's southern boundary. 

At least four other tornadoes were reported that day in central Alberta between Millet and Vegreville

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