One of four tornadoes that touched down in southwest Saskatchewan Tuesday swept through a farmyard — destroying a barn and stock trailer, and lifting tin from the roof of the house.
Jan Linthicum lives on a ranch south of Glentworth, roughly halfway between Val Marie and Willow Bunch and northwest of the Grasslands National Park by the U.S. border.
Linthicum said she was preparing for a family barbecue Tuesday evening when her sister-in-law and niece arrived, saying a fire possibly started by a lightning strike on their land.
While her husband and brother-in-law left to deal with the blaze, the rest of the family started watching the sky from the house.
“The clouds were wild, they were churning and turning and it was pretty crazy,” Linthicum recalled. “We watched these funnel clouds form – there was two forming and all of a sudden we were watching and we saw this blast of dirt coming over the hill near our yard and we headed for the basement.”
Linthicum told 980 CJME she thinks they spent only about two minutes taking shelter before coming back up to a scene she described as “chaos.”
“We had an RV camper parked by the house and it was on its side. We had four gas tanks and three of them were on the ground,” she said, adding fence panels were tipped over and two out of three grain bins standing in a row were gone.
“We had a stock trailer that must have got lifted up into the air and thrown back down because bits and pieces of it are spread for about half a mile.”
She said while taking shelter in the basement, the tornado must have come very close and lifted some of the tin off the roof on one side.
“We had a barn, that’s gone. Just an old barn that we stored hay in it and it was not far from the house and it’s just gone, all that’s left is the hay that was in it.”
At this point, she said her family is thankful they made it through the tornado, saying it could have been a lot worse.
On Wednesday morning, Linthicum was still making calls to the insurance company and planning to send photos to Environment Canada before deciding where to begin the clean up.