Update: Armstrong floods force evac
Jul 28, 2012 / 7:27 am
Here is raw video of some of the flooding.
The Spallumcheen valley was hit by a severe thunderstorm that began Friday evening just before 7:00 p.m.
Mass flooding cordoned off various streets in Armstrong, making road travel difficult, while RCMP closed Highway 97 and diverted traffic northbound to the Pleasant Valley Road turnoff due to a landslide.
“The concern is a nearby gas line,” said Ian Cummings, Chief of the Armstrong Fire Department.
Crews worked to clear the slide from the road, and had the route reopened by 11:00 p.m. It is unclear whether anyone was caught in the slide, but initial reports are that no one was injured.
“You couldn’t see three feet in front of you,” says Ian Cummings. “The hail was incredible. I honestly believe my car was damaged.”
“I talked to a resident here [Pioneer Square] who had lived here all his life and he said it was the storm of the century.”
The Fire Department responded to more than half a dozen calls, including fallen trees and downed power lines. Some places unaffected by the power outages were soon left in the dark as crews worked to restore power safely to everyone in Armstrong.
Flooding also forced an evacuation at the Pioneer Square Residential Care facility on Willowdale Drive.
Nine residents, housed on the bottom floor of the building, were moved to higher ground.
Fortunately Emergency Services, staff at the facility and the Armstrong Fire department made temporary arrangements to bring seven residents’ beds to the top floor of the building for the night. The two other residents were housed with family.
“We’re happy to come out and help,” says Helen Sinclair from Emergency Services. “Businesses need to have a business contingency plan for situations like this. Kudos to the Armstrong Fire Department. We like outcomes like this.”
Flooding affected several locations in Armstrong.
“My basement has flooded. All the townhouses on Pleasant Valley Road are flooded,” said Armstrong resident Shira Summers. “Strata was called but it can take a while.”
The Kohler factory also experienced flood damage.
“There’s a river running through it. They have a sump pump working to clear out the water. Restoration crews are there right now,” said Kohler employee Jason Joslin. “I don’t know if there’ll be work tomorrow.”
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