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Estimated wind speed and rating increased for Manitoba tornado that killed two


VIRDEN, Man. — Environment and Climate Change Canada says the rating for a powerful Manitoba tornado that killed two people when it threw their vehicle into a field has been upgraded.

The agency says in a statement that the storm damage survey, along with additional information received after the twister near Virden on Aug. 7, indicates the tornado was an EF-3 on the five-level Enhanced Fujita Scale, and had estimated wind speeds of 260 km/h.

Preliminary findings released not long after the event had indicated an EF-2, and that wind speeds only reached 190 km/h.

Shayna Barnesky and Carter Tilbury, both 18 and from Melita, Man., died after police said it appeared they were ejected from their vehicle when the storm hit.

A 54-year-old man from Sioux Valley Dakota First Nation suffered serious injuries when his vehicle was also thrown.

The tornado also caused extensive damage on a farm, with silos strewn throughout a field.

The storm survey was compiled by the Northern Tornadoes Project, in association with the University of Manitoba and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the tornado happened near Vernon.

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