Windstorm destroys sign at west Edmonton mini-mall


Many objects were tipped or moved in the strong wind, but few as big as the West Jasper Place mini-mall sign. Photograph by Timothy Gerwing.

By Timothy Gerwing

EDMONTON — High winds sent a sign crashing down onto the parking lot of a west Edmonton mini-mall on Dec. 2.

Alex Saab was watching violent wind throw small items around like toys from his store’s window Friday morning, but he never expected what happened next.

“It was crazy,” said Saab.

Saab, who owns the Liquor Run in the West Jasper Place shopping centre at 15636 Stony Plain Rd., watched the sign come crashing down at 10:30 a.m. from wind he said had reached 90 km/h.

“It was a giant crash,” said Saab. “A truck was passing when it fell. Two cars were parked underneath. I wanted to go outside and stop traffic, but it was over. Somehow no people or cars got even a scratch.”

Saab said the property management group that owns the shopping centre is lucky nobody got hurt, because he thought the sign was loose to begin with.

At 3:30 p.m., Cliff’s Towing was on site to remove the wreckage.

Saab said insurance will cover a new sign, and he didn’t think the business owners would be responsible for the related costs.

Calgary was hit by a similar storm earlier this week, where wind speeds were clocked as high as 149 km/h.

The wind is forecast to be strong again on Saturday. Watch Environment Canada for more weather warnings.