One dead, at least 60 injured after stage collapses at Big Valley Jamboree
EDMONTON — One person is dead and at least 60 people are injured after the main stage at Camrose’s Big Valley Jamboree collapsed when a large storm hit the area this afternoon, trapping an unknown number of concertgoers, emergency officials say.
Rescue efforts are underway. STARS is unable to land on scene because of the wreckage, Capital Health spokeswoman Michelle Wilcott said.
Meanwhile, in Edmonton, Heritage Festival organizers evacuated people from Hawrelak Park because of severe storm conditions in the Edmonton area.
Festival attendees were evacuated just before 6 p.m., said festival spokeswoman Leanne Letourneau. The gates are expected to reopen tomorrow at 10 a.m., she said.
Stony Plain-area residents described “hurricane-like” weather conditions after a storm ripped through the area late Saturday afternoon.
“Trees were bent sideways and hail was the size of marbles,” said Andrew Rain, who works at Ironhead Golf and Country Club in Wabamun.
Visibility was so poor he could only see three to five metres in front of him, he said.
Hail rocks as big as loonies damaged the siding of some houses in the Lake Westerra area of Stony Plain, said area resident Tonia Lesann.
“All the siding on the west side of my house is going to have to be replaced,” she said.
Sheet rain in the area quickly turned to hail. High winds knocked over trees, power lines and street signs in the area, Lesann said.
The storm began just before 5 p.m., and lasted about one hour before dying down, he said.
Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Edmonton area. As of 6:25 p.m., Environment Canada was reporting wind gusts of up to 100 km/h in the city.
Large hail, strong winds and heavy downpours are expected to hit Edmonton by 6 p.m., meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau said.
“People should definitely take shelter,” she said.