TransCanada helps out after southern Manitoba tornado
A “huge tornado-producing storm” July 23 left the residents of Long Plain First Nation and surrounding southern Manitoba communities reeling.
An F1 tornado had touched down south of Portage la Prairie, packing winds of between 135 and 175 kilometres per hour. The twister had traveled “at least” eight kilometres along the ground, according to Environment Canada.
Extensive damage, immediate support provided
Forty year old trees were toppled over. Homes were destroyed or pushed off their foundations. Cars were overturned, and garages were a pile of rubble. Power was knocked out for 48 hours. About 600 people had to be evacuated.
While TransCanada’s infrastructure was unaffected, the company helped lead efforts to offer First Nation’s communities immediate emergency support.
“Of all the agencies we worked with on this emergency, TransCanada provided the most timely and meaningful assistance,” reflected Craig Blacksmith, Housing Advisor, Dakota Plains First Nation.
After conferring with community leaders – and under the direction of Long Plain Fire Chief Randy Merrick and his team – TransCanada’s Aboriginal Liaison Steve Loney dispatched a clean-up crew to clear a farmer’s fence of fallen trees so that the farmer could repair the fence and keep his livestock contained.
Providing equipment and assistance every step of the way
The company was also fast off the mark to provide emergency generators, temporary lighting, first aid kits, mini-flashlights, gift cards for food, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help First Nation responders with their emergency response efforts.
“In times of crisis, it’s comforting to know you have helpful neighbors like TransCanada Pipelines and Steve Loney, ” said Randy Merrick, Long Plain Fire Chief.
TransCanada was determined to be with the First Nation’s communities during their time of crisis each step of the way, said Loney.
“It’s all part of being a good neighbour and giving back to the communities that we operate in – support that we have been providing to our fellow citizens across North America for well over 60 years.”
Meanwhile, TransCanada and Energy East donated an additional $10,000 – as well as electrical generators and Personal Protective Equipment – after an F4 tornado roared through the Waywayseecappo First Nation, northwest of Winnipeg.
Eleven people were displaced in the latest of a series of summer storms which have battered Canada’s prairie provinces.
TransCanada is currently evaluating long-term assistance needs of area residents for both events through our Community Investment program.