Aftermath - Two massive trees came crashing down on the home of Austin and Mariah Vargo in Kipling during the storm, destroying a garage, deck, patio furniture and numerous kids toys. While the majority of the tree missed hitting the house, it did cause damage to it as well.

People were scanning the sky last weekend, as a powerful storm saw many communities in this area being placed under a tornado watch.
Although there were no reports of a tornado, residents in the area were left cleaning up the damage caused by destructive winds, heavy rain and hail. There were reports of wind speeds to the west of Kipling near Corning hitting 180 kilometres per hour.
Kipling Mayor Pat Jackson spoke to the Clipper on Monday – and said that the Town of Kipling was impacted significantly by the storm.
“We did have a storm with heavy rain, hail and high winds pass through Kipling. Several trees (both private and municipal) were broken or in some cases uprooted. There were power lines down, generally due to broken trees. Power was out in the community for approximately 8 hours. However, the generator kept the lift station running,” said Jackson.
The mayor said there was also localized street flooding due in large measure to the rapid rainfall.
“It took time for the water to either soak in or be evacuated. Residents were asked to limit water and sewer usage to allow the flood water to be moved out. Some residences did sustain damage to roofs, fences and gardens. At this point, we have heard of only a few homes with water in their basements. But that may change as people do their assessments and call in to the Town Office. As well, there was some damage to municipal structures at the ball diamonds and the many parks in town. Thankfully however, we have received no reports of any injuries to date,” she said.
One of the properties hit the hardest in town was Austin and Mariah Vargo’s home on 4th Street. They had a couple large trees come down that struck the garage, house and deck.
When the storm hit, Austin said he sent his wife and kids downstairs and he went outside to try and put some things away in the garage until the hail and wind got so bad it forced him back inside. It’s then that he saw a massive 80 foot tree in his yard fall towards the house, which then took down another large tree in the process.
“You could just hear the bang when it hit the garage,” said Austin. “And then we heard something on the deck and my neighbour had crawled over the shrubs because he saw it come down and thought it was on the house.”
While Vargo is still trying to assess the damage to his house and clean up and remove the trees, he said the adustor has said that there is a fair amount of damage. While it’s still too early to determine a total, Vargo estimates it could be as much as $100,000.
“The adjuster came (Tuesday) but until they get the tree removed they don’t really know how much damage there is to the house. It has hail damage and ripped some eavestrough off and the siding and shingles will likely need to be replaced. But the garage is done. The deck is done. The patio set is done. The tree landed on all that stuff. And how many kids toys I forgot outside,” said Vargo.
While nobody was hurt in the storm, Austin said he didn’t really realize how close he and his family came to being hurt until after the storm and they had time to evaluate what had happened. He said that it was when he realized that had the tree fallen 10 feet over, it would have hit the house exactly where all the family was.
“We’re lucky that it didn’t come 10 feet over,” said Vargo. “Where the stairs go, that’s where it would have came and that’s where I was standing. (Mariah and the kids) would have been trapped and I would have been squished,” said Austin.
While residents began cleaning up immediately after the storm, Mayor Jackson said that efforts to clean up after the storm will likely continue for several days.
“Currently, Town staff and volunteers are cutting up and removing trees from streets, sidewalks and back lanes. This is our first priority since this is necessary to allow people to move around safely. Following that, municipal parks will be assessed and cleaned up. The Council is requesting that residents clear as much of their own tree breakage as possible with private contractors – as it is anticipated that it will take most of the week to clear town-owned property. Should some residents require assistance, they are asked to call the Town Office,” the mayor said.
As well, Jackson praised the efforts of those who were working to deal with the storm’s aftermath.
“Kudos go out to SaskPower for their timely work. Also, a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the volunteers who are doing so much to help – by taking care of not only their own property – but community areas as well.”

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