11/27/2011 04:29 EST | Updated 01/27/2012 05:12 EST

Gale-Force Winds Slam Southern Alberta


Gusting winds, hitting as high as 130 km/h in some areas, are wreaking havoc in southern Alberta Sunday.

Gale-force winds, which hit 76 km/h in Calgary at 2 p.m. according to Environment Canada, have triggered the city's Municipal Emergency Plan.

Officials have shut down the downtown core to traffic and pedestrians and have suspended LRT services in that area.

Sgt. Kevin Cain of the Calgary police said windows at TD Square downtown have been blown out, roofing material and debris is flying off downtown buildings and a roof was ripped off at a home in the 100 block of Slopes Grove S.W.

Residents are being advised to stay away from windows. The fire department says the entire department is out on city streets right now.

Trees are also being ripped right out of the ground all over the city.

Three LRT crossing arms have been broken off in south Calgary. Reports are coming in on semi-trailers being blown over on area roads and highways.

Conditions in Pincher Creek, in the southwestern corner of the province, are worse with Environment Canada reporting winds reaching 130 km/h by midday Sunday.

RCMP have issued a travel advisory for motorists travelling from Calgary south to Fort Macleod.

Officials say semi-trailers in particular, especially if they are empty or carrying a light load, should avoid travel in the area while it's so windy.