'It's a terrible mess here': Sask. village pummelled with baseball-sized hail

Val Marie, Sask., was left picking up the pieces after a storm blew through the area bringing hail the size of baseballs.

Mayor of Val Marie has not seen a storm like Tuesday's since 1950s

Val Marie, Sask., experienced baseball-sized hail that caused damage throughout the community. (Craig Boehm/Twitter)

Several communities in Saskatchewan are picking up the pieces after thunderstorms ripped through the province on Tuesday.

One of those communities is Val Marie. The village of about 140 people, approximately 120 kilometres south of Swift Current, experienced baseball-sized hail that caused damage throughout the community, especially to vehicles.

"A lot of cars here and trucks, all their windows are all knocked out and on the hood, dented all over. It was a terrible, terrible hail," said Roland Facette, Val Marie's mayor, who was rounding up cows in his field when the storm hit.

He said it was one of the worst storms he has seen since the 1950s.

"It smashed cars and windshields and it's a terrible mess here," said Facette, whose vehicle was damaged by hail.

Not only did the community experience monstrous hail, there were also strong wind gusts, rain and lightning. According to Facette, there were three fires in the area and several broken trees caused by lightning.

By 7 p.m. CST, Environment Canada reported wind gusts of up to 81 km/h in Val Marie.

"That was a heck of a mess," Facette said.

Unsurprisingly, these storms can severely damage crops.

Shawn Jaques, president of the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation, says it has received nearly 200 "pre-harvest" claims this year.

A producer can file a claim on their crop before harvest if they think it's damaged enough that it won't be profitable in harvest. 

"If a producer has received damage on their crop and wants to put it to another use or they don't want to take it to harvest, they can register what we call a pre-harvest claim," Jaqus said.

"And those claims, we have approximately 180 right now."

Jaques said that if producers have any questions about damage to their crop they should call the insurance corporation right away.

Other towns in Saskatchewan were also hit hard, including Kindersley, where multiple RVs were blown over. One of the RVs had two people and a dog inside. 

Environment Canada confirmed four tornadoes in Saskatchewan on Tuesday, with reports of a potential fifth tornado touching down. 

Val Marie is 261 kilometres southwest of Regina. 

With files from CBC Radio One's The Morning Edition

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