UPDATED: 1 man dead after tornado rips through Manitoba community

Multiple structures near the rural community of Alonsa, Man., were shredded by the twister

A man has died after a tornado touched down west of Lake Manitoba on Friday night and tore at least one home off its foundation, officials said Saturday.

An RCMP spokesman said the 77-year-old man was found dead outside what remained of his wrecked home in Alonsa, Man., about 165 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

“The tornado was down for quite some time so we’re hearing reports of lots of trailers, and damage to vehicles, trees and homes,” said Sgt. Paul Manaigre, adding that no other injuries were reported.

“There’s a lot of damage being reported, and that’s only the tip of the iceburg,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Jean-Philippe Begin.

Some people reported seeing tennis ball-sized hail, up to six centimetres in diameter, while others said strong winds wreaked havoc.

Annie Richard, 47, captured video of the tornado from her home about two kilometres from where the twister started.

“You hear some people say that it sounds like a freight train,” she said on Saturday morning. “It was just a constant rumble, and it just didn’t stop.”

She and her husband watched the tornado grow and move for about a half hour, filming on her phone, Richard said.

Valerie McInnes was at a campground with her family on Margaret Bruce Beach when a couple next door came to tell them they had received tornado alerts on their phones.

After seeing a funnel cloud forming to the southwest, she and her family jumped in their car to flee, she said.

“We drove a little ways away to get out of the path and then went back when it was safe,” said McInnes, noting that their property was intact.

“We’re very lucky, others lost everything,” she said. “We know of three homes that were destroyed in that area.”

“I have a whole new respect for the weather after tonight,” she wrote.

The Canadian Press

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