DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Mayor of Dawson Creek Dale Bumstead has declared a State of Local Emergency after the city was mangled by the BC storm.
Bumstead says while it is still too early to tell how much damage was sustained, he says staff are currently doing the assessment and it could have been a lot worse. The decision to declare a State of Local Emergency was made with safety in mind.
“Just the result of damage to infrastructure alone, and our community, and for me and council, it’s really about public safety. So how do you ensure we are going to do the things we need to do to rebuild the roads, streets and bridges and infrastructure and make sure we have public safety front and centre, and I feel we needed to have the state of emergency in order to allow us to do the things we may need to do.
Staff are out doing the assessment now and in some respects, it could have been much much worse. It’s bad but it could have been much worse. You kind of keep that in perspective saying ‘thank goodness’ but at the other side of it, we know we have significant damages.”
Bumstead said yesterday was more of a fluid day having emergency protocols in place. He says having uncertainty of how much damage was caused is of concern.
Bumstead also defended his decision in not declaring the State of Local Emergency earlier, saying that yesterday was more about public safety and making sure everyone was safe and looked after.
Now that the city will be in the rebuilding phase and will need help cleaning up, that is why Bumstead ultimately decided to declare the State of Local Emergency.
“People say ‘why didn’t you declare a state of emergency yesterday’ and yesterday was about making sure our community was safe, today is about taking the next steps to rebuild and that is where I felt we needed to issue the local State of Emergency.”
Right now streets and roads are the priority in the city as well as access to equipment and property, while keeping public safety in mind.