City assessing storm damage

The city of Fort St. John is in cleanup mode and damage assessment after the overwhelming downpour Thursday night.

Last night’s storm brought a considerable amount of rain over a short period time causing flooding to various areas within the city and damage to some properties.

In an event like this the city’s first priority is to protect both people and property, says Dianne Hunter, city manager, adding that the city was working with the RCMP to block off areas that were considered dangerous.

One of the problems the city had was the fact that the sewer system couldn’t handle the excessive amount of water received during the storm, causing much of the flooding in certain parts of the city.

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Hunter says the city had to work to repair manhole covers that began coming loose because of the strength of the downpour.

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She says crews are out working this morning to assess any damage to city infrastructure and working to repair problems that resulted from the storm.

In speaking with some residents in the 93rd to 95th St. area, she says a few of them said they experienced some flooding in their houses. Residents in the area of 105 Ave. and 90th St. have also called Moose FM to report similar flooding.

Although Hunter says she doesn’t know the exact amount of rain the city received last night, reports from different residents with rain gauges on their properties put the amount of water received at around 50 mm.

However, the official Environment Canada measurement taken from the airport shows the city received 6.8 mm of precipitation – including hail – Thursday.

The rain storm also caused power outages in certain parts of the city and according to BC Hydro, there are still 15 customers without power in the rural areas around Fort St. John, but the power should be restored by 2 p.m. Friday.

Despite the problems that resulted from the rain, Hunter says she was thankful for various residents and private companies who stepped in to help in blocking off roads and obeying city workers helping during the storm.

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