The skies quickly turned dark on June 17 at approximately 4 p.m. on a nice sunny day. Then the rain and wind came fast and hard. The thunder shook the trees and the lightening lit up the sky.
The nearest weather station to Ponoka is located in Lacombe and on the Environment Canada Alberta website they reported that the wind reached speeds of 43 kilometers per hour.
As the storm raged on, hail the size of a marble hit the downtown area as the wind and rain kept going. Severe weather warnings and watches were also in effect for Ponoka and the surrounding area for approximately two hours.
The wind caused the most damage in Ponoka with over a dozen trees being knocked down due to the strong forces. At the park beside the old hospital on 50 St. there were more than six or seven trees with damage. The most noticeable damage was a tree that fell on a small house on 50 St. and a tree that hit a truck on 48 Ave. There were no reports of any injuries during the storm.
It was reported that in most parts of Ponoka residents lost power. Some residents in the Riverside area were without power until after 8 p.m. and the downtown area was restored at approximately 6 p.m.
Media relations representative for FortisAlberta said that there were many short outages due to the severe lightning storm that passed through the area. She noted that the Town of Ponoka is not serviced by Fortis but she said that they had some of their own outages caused by trees and wind. Fortis also had outages in the rural areas of Ponoka, Blackfalds, Lacombe, Clive, Alix and Hobbema.
The Weather Network reports that over the next week Ponoka can expect sun with some clouds and a high of 30 degrees on June 28. On July 1 they are forecasting clear sunny skies and a high of 30 degrees.