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Frustration after emergency alerts not received before deadly Manitoba tornado

Last Updated Aug 7, 2018 at 11:46 am PDT

Debris is strewn about after a tornado at Margaret Bruce Beach, east of Alonsa, Man., on Friday, Aug.3, 2018. Residents are frustrated that they didn't receive emergency alerts on their cell phones before a tornado tore through a small Manitoba community on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Vanessa Whyte MANDATORY CREDIT
Summary

Residents say they're frustrated that they didn't receive emergency alerts before a deadly tornado in Manitoba

ALONSA, Man. – Residents are frustrated they didn’t receive emergency alerts on their cell phones before a strong tornado tore through a small Manitoba community on Friday.

The EF4 tornado moved through the Rural Municipality of Alonsa on Friday night killing a 77-year-old man and leaving a trail of destroyed homes and cottages.

Pamela Sul, chief administrative officer for the rural municipality near Lake Manitoba, says she saw a tornado warning on television and was able to flee her home.

But she didn’t have cell coverage to receive a text-message alert on her phone or even call her neighbours to warn them about the incoming storm.

She says the area always had limited service, but since Bell MTS did upgrades in June, residents have lost most of the coverage they had.

She says many people are scared and they are disappointed that it took a deadly tornado to show that it is a problem.