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Wind wreaks havoc across city

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Today’s windy, blustery weather was to blame for the uninvited guest that barged into Jorge Alvarez’s home, Saturday afternoon.

The Centennial neighbourhood resident was watching television just after noon on Saturday when he heard a very loud bang and felt his house shake.

"I looked through my front door’s window and could only see leaves and branches. I went to the door and couldn’t open it. A big tree had blown down on my house," Alvarez said, as he waited for city officials to come and remove the fallen tree.

The 20-foot cedar used to sit on the patch of road between the sidewalk and road in front of Alvarez’s Patrick Street home.

Alvarez said although the tree caused extensive damage to the door and roof of his single-storey home, that wasn’t what made him most upset about the tree intrusion.

"My three grandchildren had just left five minutes before that, through the front door. A very close call," Alvarez said.

Alvarez’s leafy gate-crasher wasn’t the only one causing an inconvenience, yesterday.

According to Anthonie Koop, senior communications officer with Manitoba Hydro, a large tree blew down on a feeder at Fermor Avenue and Saint Anne’s Road just before 10 a.m. yesterday, causing about 1400 home-owners in the St. Vital area to lose power for about an hour.

The wind also caused a plastic tarp to blow onto and wrap around some power wires, causing about 600 people in the Inkster Park area to lose power at 10 a.m. for almost two hours.

Koop said at about 2:00 p.m., Manitoba Hydro had already received calls from about 400 customers and, as a result, had to call in extra staff to help remedy the outages.

"It’s been a very busy day all day, a lot of branches touching lines because of the wind, causing a lot of flickering lights and outages," Koop said.

According to Mark Melsness with Environment Canada, winds in Winnipeg reached about 50 to 60 kilometers per hour with gusts blowing at about 75 kilometers per hour.

Melsness said there was also some gale warnings for the Lake Winnipeg area.

katherine.dow@freepress.mb.ca

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