Farms, mine, lake homes ravaged by storm
By Suzanne Werre
Residents from in and around Underwood and Turtle Lake knew Thursday night’s storm packed a wallop, but they couldn’t really see the damage the 80-plus mile-per-hour straight-line winds caused until the light of day.
While residents in the towns of Underwood and Turtle Lake did deal with downed branches and the occasional tree, a few miles away to the east and west of both towns, the gale-force winds caused major damage to farms, the Brush Lake community, and the Falkirk Mine.
According to North American Coal’s Dave Straley, Underwood’s Falkirk Mine suffered the loss of the conveyor belt that takes coal from the crusher at Falkirk Mine to Coal Creek Station during the straight-line winds that came through. The nearly 40-year-old coal conveyor is now a mangled, crumpled mass of scrap iron lying on the ground.
According to Straley, a team will be coming to the mine this week to assess the damage and devise a plan moving forward. For now, he added, the mine is trucking the coal to the crusher.
“We don’t anticipate any major disruption at all,” said Straley. “Currently what we’re just bypassing this conveyor with trucks.”
The conveyor was not in use when it went down, he added, and there were no injuries associated with the mechanical failure of the conveyor.