Sask. hail claims double typical number

Hail insurance providers on the Prairies report about 2,200 claims filed in Saskatchewan up to the middle of last week, a number they say is "at least double" the typical count for that date.

Claims are also still coming in from storms that hit the province July 1-3, the Canadian Crop Hail Association said Friday in its latest update.

The trouble with processing hail claims this early in the growing season is that it "can be difficult to assess (damages) since the crops often have a tremendous ability to recover," the association said.

Depending on the stage of the crop and the extent of damage, some companies will defer claim adjustments to later in the season to better determine the extent of the loss, the association said.

Other companies wait a couple weeks before assessing early claims, but make a final determination of the loss on the first visit.

The most notable hailstorms in Saskatchewan in June came June 15 and 17, as well as June 26, which along yielded the highest number of claims so far.

Affected communities on June 26 included Consul (which reported two separate storms that day), Radville, Mankota, Maple Creek, Gull Lake, Shaunavon, Rush Lake and Swift Current in the south, and Preeceville in the northeast. Crops around Saskatoon, Outlook and Watrous were also affected, the association said.

Claims from June 15’s storms were "widely scattered" with a significant number running from Saskatoon northeast to the Aberdeen area.

On June 17, crops around Lampman and Benson in southeastern Saskatchewan suffered damage as did Eston in the west-central region, the association said.

Farmers in Alberta, especially southern regions, filed about 660 claims up to the first week of July; many of the early claims only had canola with enough damage for payouts, the association said.

Large hail caused "significant damage" in the Cereal area east of Drumheller, as well as at Burdett, between Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, from storms June 25 and 26.

Storm cells on July 1 caused severe hail damage in the area south of Red Deer, in a line from Bowden to north of Trochu and from Didsbury through Munson. Storms were also reported July 1 in the Smoky Lake and Lamont areas northeast of Edmonton.

A "variety of isolated storms" in Manitoba in June has led to nearly 500 claims in that province by the middle of last week, including many from the southwest and the Roland area.

The single largest storm in the province, however, came early on July 4 in "close proximity" to the U.S. border including areas near Tilston, Lyleton, Deloraine, Boissevain, Mather, Cartwright, Killarney and Snowflake.

Hail from that storm came with "strong winds" plus up to four inches of rain, and is expected to "significantly increase" Manitoba’s claim total, the association said.

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