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Great white combine doubles Alta. insurance claims

Hailstorms, many severe, across much of Alberta during the August long weekend have more than doubled the number of hail claims so far this growing season.

The Canadian Crop Hail Association, a Prairie insurers’ group, reported Friday that hail claims in Alberta have now reached 1,250, due largely to the long weekend events.

The Aug. 3 storm through southern Alberta alone is estimated to have affected over a million acres of cropland, the group said in its report Friday, noting the area around Airdrie and south was hit hard.

There were also a significant number of claims from the Red Deer and Olds areas, the group said, and a smaller number of claims came from around Spruce Grove.

Overall, however, Alberta’s total hail claims so far this season remain “well below normal” for this time, the group said, noting about 4,200 claims had been filed in the province by this time last year.

A “relatively small number” of hail claims were filed in Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the two weeks since the group’s previous report. It noted many of those claims are for storms that happened more than two weeks ago.

Saskatchewan farmers have filed just over 2,300 claims, which the group said is the “lowest number in memory for the province in mid-August” and well below last year’s year-to-date total of over 15,000 claims.

Of the new Saskatchewan claims, the group said, most are for a storm Aug. 2 in the Elrose area. Other claims came from western areas around Fox Valley, Beechy and Rosetown.

The claim total so far this year in Manitoba is up only “marginally” to about 830, the insurers’ group said, making for the lowest claim total to date since 2004.

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