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'Mini-tornado' sweeps through Kootenays

British Columbia, Canada

June 29, 2007

A severe windstorm tore through the Kootenays on Friday night, injuring several people, damaging houses, knocking down powerlines and partially ripping the roof off an RCMP detachment."We just had a freak windstorm coming through with some rain," said Creston works department foreman Doug Ryckman about 45 minutes after the storm hit. "It's just like a mini-tornado touched down in the southern part of town. It took down several trees and powerlines and we lost part of our metal roofing on our RCMP building, and there's lots of house damage."

"You could see it coming from the west towards the east across the valley and then it just hit with extreme force and it just passed right over, and right now the sky is clearing," Ryckman said.

Winds had reached 96 kilometres per hour just after 6 p.m. in Creston before heading north to Cranbrook, where they were measured at up to 108 km/h, levels rare for the interior of the province.

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