Wind speeds of 260 km/h estimated in deadly tornado near Virden, Manitoba

By | August 17, 2020

WINNIPEG — Environment Canada is estimating a deadly tornado that struck a small community near Virden, Man., and killed two young people, had reached wind speeds over 200 km/h.

The tornado that hit Scarth, Man., a community roughly 13 kilometres south of Virden, on the evening of August 7 was originally estimated to be an EF-2 storm producing 190 km/h winds.

On Monday afternoon Environment Canada released its summary of the tornado, estimating the storm was actually an EF-3 storm, with wind speeds up to 260 km/h. Tornados are measured on the Enhanced Fujita scale, ranging from EF-0 for mild tornados, to EF-5 for devastating tornados.

Two young people, both 18-years-old from Melita, were killed in the tornado. RCMP previously reported that it is believed they were thrown from their car during the tornado.

Shayna Barnesky and Carter Tilbury were identified by the community as the victims of the tornado.

READ MORE: Teens killed in Manitoba tornado mourned by community

Another person, a 54-year-old man from Sioux Valley Dakota First Nation, was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries after his vehicle flipped into a ditch.

tornado car

Several cars were thrown by a tornado near Virden, Man., killing two people. (Source: CTV News/Danton Unger)

“Power lines and a farm were damaged, grain silos were tossed and trees were snapped,” Environment Canada said in its summary, which was completed in collaboration with the Northern Tornadoes Project.

Shirley Rudneski, a friend of the man whose farmland was destroyed, previously told CTV News the tornado was devastating. She said of about 18 grain silos on the farm, only about five were left standing.

Grain bins destroyed by tornado

Several grain bins were destroyed after a tornado tore through Scarth, Man. (Danton Unger/CTV News)

Environment Canada is asking anyone with information about the tornado, or other severe weather events, to call 1-800-239-0484, email, or tweet using the hashtag #mbstorm.

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