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The Globe and Mail

State of emergency declared at tornado-hit reserve in Saskatchewan

Farley Machiskinic points to what's left of his sister and brother's duplex, which was razed by a tornado, on Sat., July 3.

Jennifer Graham

Chief Darin Poorman declared a state of emergency Saturday after nine homes were flattened and about a dozen others were damaged by a tornado on the Kawacatoose reserve near Raymore, Sask., on Friday.

A couple of farmhouses west of the town were also destroyed by the twister.

Poorman was to meet with provincial officials Saturday to determine what help is available to house and feed residents who were left homeless.

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There was just a roar like you wouldn't believe. It just sounded so mean and angry... everything banging. Resident Candice Rosling

Residents say it was a miracle no one was hurt.

Candice Rosling, a mother of eight, saw the tornado form moments before it destroyed her home.

"The skies started getting dark and we came outside to watch the clouds and they were coming so fast and the wind picked up and it just got darker," she said.

"The next thing you know, the trees were just swaying hard and the rain started coming and we just ran inside."

Her husband, Farley Machiskinic, 34, was watching the storm from the door of their house and headed for the basement moments before the tornado hit.

Their two youngest daughters, Audrey, 3 and Jarah, 1, were in the tub and older daughters Layla, 12, and Rebecca, 7 grabbed them and raced them downstairs to safety.

Rosling heard "an angry mean roar" and a big explosion before her house was destroyed by the twister.

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"It made everything shake. The roar... There was just a roar like you wouldn't believe. It just sounded so mean and angry... everything banging," said Rosling, who added she thought her family was going to die when her neighbour's house came flying toward her.

"We saw debris and we saw a house come flying at our house. It was horrific. It was absolutely horrific," she said.

Rosling and her husband quickly ran to the place where the neighbour's house used to be, fearing what they would find. But a surprise awaited them - the neighbours who lived there had survived the monster storm.

"They were all there underneath the steps, the house that was thrown at my house," Rosling said.

"They came crawling up. It's just amazing to see them come out of there because we thought for sure we were going to find somebody badly hurt, possibly dead."

Rosling said her family will stay at her mother's house while she's away at the Northwest Territories. Her other children were away at the time the twister hit.

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This isn't the first tornado Rosling has been though. When she was six and living in Montana, a tornado hit their community and while other homes were destroyed, her family's wasn't touched.

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