Photo by Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash.

Manitoba town still struggling one year after tornado

A year after a tornado hit a rural community in Manitoba, residents are still trying to recover from the destruction.

The storm ripped through the municipality of Alonsa, Man., on Aug. 3, 2018, destroying cabins, houses, farms and claiming one life.

The CBC reported that local volunteers have helped with clean up, but tractors, wooden structures, broken panes of glass lodged in the bottom of Lake Manitoba are a reminder of the twister.

Annie Richard, an Alonsa resident, saw the tornado heave through her community.

She told the CBC that she took photos of the storm when it happened, but has trouble looking at them.

She and her children refuse to enter the water.

“For how much glass and wood and nails and old tractors and vehicles [are] in the lake, I wouldn’t feel comfortable swimming with kids out there,” she said.

Mike Brown, a farmer and councillor for the municipality, said the province brought in a machine with an excavator arm two times to clean up the wreckage that washed up along the beach.

Larger items, however, have remained immersed in the water.

Brown’s uncle died in the storm. He was there the night his uncle’s body was found.

“It’s kind of one of those things you don’t want to picture and have happen again in a lifetime, anytime,” he said.

Other relatives of his who lived through the storm have moved out of the community.

His aunt and uncle had extensive damage done to their house. They negotiated with their insurance company for several months, but found that they would only get full coverage if they rebuilt.

They felt they were too elderly to do so and moved to a small nearby city to be close to their children.

Brown said they aren’t the only ones who left. He believes the community has fewer people due to the storm.

“Now when you get some hot, nasty weather like we have been having, and a storm could roll in, everybody is watching pretty carefully,” he said.

He said an 800-metre path carved by the tornado still exists to remind those of the weather disaster that shook the community.

“The landscape is changed forever. The path is still there,” he said.