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Tornado churns in background as farmer casually sprays crops

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Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Sunday, July 23, 2017, 12:44 PM - It was just a few weeks ago when the so-called Alberta lawnmower man went viral, and now a Saskatchewan farmer's video of a twister following close behind him is making the rounds online.

Clinton Monchuk was spraying fungicide on his barley crop north of Lanigan on Friday just after 4 p.m. local time when he noticed a tornado forming.

"There was a very, very dark, almost black cloud that was kind of hovering to the west of me where I was spraying," Monchuk told The Weather Network.

Monchuk is no stranger to twisters as his wife is from Oklahoma, which is the heart of Tornado Alley.

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"I've seen a few tornadoes in the past. When I started to see the rotation, I phoned my wife up to confirm with her if it was in fact a tornado and she said, 'you betcha it is and you better make sure our kids are in the basement,'" he said.

After calling his kids to ensure they were in a low lying area, Monchuk decided to start filming the building beast (watch video above). 

"I was watching it pretty much the whole time forming and you could just start seeing it churn round and around," Monchuk said. "Sure enough it just got bigger and bigger and eventually it came down with the spout and hit the ground."


According to Monchuk, the twister was on the ground for 15 to 30 seconds. He was about 3 km away from the twister at the time.

"It went down and shortly after I saw debris being lifted into the air," he noted. "If that would have continued, it would've beelined right for our farm house."

Monchuk went to survey the damage after the tornado dissipated. He found snapped trees and other small debris.

"It looked like somebody went with a scissor and sliced the trees off the trunks."

The twister was even closer to his brother's home, but fortunately the house was spared from any damage.

Monchuk said he has been compared to the lawnmower man who took social media by storm in June after a photo captured the Alberta resident undaunted by a tornado swirling behind him while cutting the grass.

"I've seen on Twitter some people comparing me to the lawnmower man, but I knew where it was and knew I was in no immediate danger because I was driving away in the opposite direction."

Environment Canada has confirmed six tornadoes touched down in Saskatchewan Friday, two of which made contact with the ground north of Lanigan.

According to the weather agency's preliminary reports, there was no significant damage caused by Friday's severe weather.

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