FORT NELSON, B.C. — The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality says the overall emergency operation was successful after several Fort Nelson residents were evacuated after a gas line was struck.
Due to the immediate danger to life and health, the NRRM ordered all residents within a one-kilometre radius of the area to evacuate on August 17th at 3:30 p.m.
Entry was not permitted to the area without an emergency service escort.
The line breach occurred due to a sanitary sewer project underway after the gas line was identified by BC 1 Call, but cited as inactive by FortisBC.
At approximately 3:08 p.m., the line was struck, and emergency services were notified.
A tactical evacuation was conducted by the Northern Rockies Fire Rescue (NRFR) and the RCMP. The Emergency Operation Centre was activated to support evacuees.
A FortisBC contractor arrived at 5:40 p.m. and temporarily secured the gas line until a permanent repair could be completed the next day.
At 7:30 p.m., the Evacuation Order was rescinded, and evacuees could return to their homes.
NRRM says the emergency operation was successful, with gratitude to those that supported Incident Command, including NRFR, RCMP, the BC Ambulance Service, the Conservation Officer Service and the NRRM personnel behind the scenes with Emergency Operations and Evacuation Centres.
The NRRM says it would also like to acknowledge the patience and cooperation shown by the residents and how it ensured everyone remained safe and the duration of the event was limited.
NRRM added that the Northern Rockies Regional Recreation Centre is the community’s primary emergency evacuation centre.
When an order is issued or when notified by emergency services personnel, evacuees are asked to register at the centre to access emergency social services, such as a cooling/warming centre, meals, toiletries and accommodations if the event extends overnight.
NRRM provided a list of steps evacuees should take during an evacuation:
- Gather family, co-workers or those in need of help and make sure everyone is accounted for;
- Close windows, doors and gates;
- Take critical items such as medicine, purse/wallet, and keys if immediately available;
- Take pets in kennels or on a leash;
- Shut off gas and electrical appliances other than refrigerators and freezers;
- If self-evacuating, take an emergency preparedness kit.
More information on emergency preparedness can be found on NRRM’s website.