'It’s just what we do': community rallies behind tornado-torn producers near Foam Lake
Foam Lake is typically a quiet, small Saskatchewan community, but early Wednesday evening, the skies turned dark and the community was faced with a nasty twister.
Luckily, the community came out unscathed — but it was nearly a disaster for Foam Lake’s 1,100 residents.
“We dodged, in our community itself, what could have been a pretty big disaster. For some reason, the tornado or twister actually lifted and went around the actual town, but it came within hundreds of metres of the actual community,” said Mayor Shelley Thoen-Chaykoski Thursday morning.
The Foam Lake tornado actually wasn’t the only twister in Saskatchewan on Wednesday. Two more touched down as well.
It was a day many won’t forget, but as for damage, the town came out unscathed.
However, some local area farmers weren’t so lucky.
Chris Gislason was out with his granddaughter when he saw a life-altering event right before his eyes.
“We were out in the field and seen some dust devils form just a mile and a half up the road. Came across Highway 16. It just got larger and larger. That’s when the tornado started happening about a mile straight west of the yard here,” he explained.
Luckily, no one was hurt.
But, the Gislason family’s bin yard, along with their daughter and son-in-law's home, ended up right in the path of the twister.
It sent debris flying, toppled power line poles, and ripped apart a brand new shop, along with nearly all of Gislason’s bins. The family estimates that around 47 were lost in the twister.
One of those bins came dangerously close to hitting the family’s home.
Once the storm had ended, the community’s members wasted no time looking to help the family.
Of the dozens upon dozens who showed up, one succeeded in getting his large social media following to take notice of the destruction in Youtuber, Dickson Delorme — or, QuickDick McDick —who was out helping the family Thursday.
“It’s really easy to just sit and watch on tv and not realize what it is. And then when it impacts your community directly, it gives you a whole new perspective,” said Delorme.
He and the crew have worked tirelessly, removing the downed trees and supporting the Gislason’s in whatever they may need.
“Everyone showed up with their grapple hooks and chainsaws. And whoever didn’t have any, showed up with just the will to help. And that’s all you need. That’s Saskatchewan right,” said Delorme.
The mayor echoed the YouTuber when describing how her community banded together in the less than ideal times.
“We look out for each other. That’s important. We know that someone will be checking in on us, because that’s just what we do,” said Thoen-Chaykoski.
Much of the power lost during the storm was restored within four hours. SaskPower is still on scene, looking to ensure the lights are on across the area in the near future.