AB: Severe Winds Wreak Havoc in Calgary

Commuter trains in Calgary, Alberta, knocked out of service by a mighty weekend wind storm, were up and running again Monday afternoon, officials said.

Resumption of service in time for the afternoon rush-hour made it easier for hundreds of thousands of workers to get home.

"The trains are running," Calgary Transit spokesman Ron Collins told United Press International after officials reopened the C-Train Seventh Avenue downtown "people mover."

The downtown system was shut down during the morning rush after winds Sunday reached 57 mph sustained speeds and 93 mph gusts, ripping windows from downtown high-rise buildings and hurling falling debris into other skyscrapers and down onto city streets.

One Calgary firefighter was injured by falling glass, the city said.

"There's likely be some delays" in the afternoon commute, Collins told UPI. "We'll keep shuttle buses to supplement C-Train service."

The downtown shutdown and storm-related power outages wreaked havoc on morning commutes, causing massive traffic jams and forcing C-Train riders to wait in long lines for shuttle buses, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The C-Train system averages more than 250,000 riders every weekday.

Beyond downtown, fallen trees and power lines caused significant property and automobile damage, officials said. Power lines also fell on major thoroughfares, and at least one semi-trailer truck about 40 miles north of the city, where winds approached 100 mph, was blown over, police said.

Enmax utility spokeswoman Doris Kaufmann told UPI the power company was working to restore electricity to affected parts of the city and environs.

Fire Chief Bruce Burrell, who heads Calgary's emergency management agency, told a news conference Monday it would likely be "a few days" before all downtown buildings were safely repaired and reopened.

A strong low-pressure system combined with Chinook winds blowing eastward down from the Rockies created the severe wind conditions that were equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane in some places, the CBC said.

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