Edmontonians remember ‘Black Friday’: Deadly tornado of 1987

EDMONTON – Thirty-two years ago today the deadliest storm in Alberta’s history killed 27 people, injured 600 and prompted the creation of the Alberta Emergency Public Warning System (EPWS) in 1992.

July 31, 1987, is known as Black Friday in Edmonton and is one of Canada’s worst natural disasters.

The F4 tornado – with winds up to 417 km/h – brought tennis ball-sized hail and levelled industrial and residential areas on the east side of Edmonton. The worst areas hit were Evergreen Mobile Home Park, Strathcona Industrial Park and Clareview.

Today, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) remembered the disaster.

“Today we take a moment to remember those who lost their lives as a result of the Edmonton tornado (a.k.a Black Friday) 32 years ago,” said EPS in a tweet. “We recognize all first responders who worked day and night rescuing people and keeping them safe during this devastating time.”

Vancouver Fire Chief Darrell Reid also recalled the Edmonton tornado today.

“Many first responders I worked with were forever impacted,” he said in a tweet. “My thoughts today with them and those lost.”

Two years ago Telus Storyhive produced this video.

The EPWS was created after the 1987 tornado and became the first public warning system of its kind using media to broadcast critical information to the public in a joint operation between broadcasters and government.

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