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City fielded 65 calls for help after stormPosted: July 26, 2012

Clean up continues following the severe windstorm that hit the City of Cranbrook and surrounding area last Friday.

Shortly after 6 p.m. on July 20, a fast moving storm entered the Cranbrook area. The storm consisted of strong winds gusting to more than 107 km/h and driving rains. The storm passed through the area in a short time, leaving behind extensive damage which has taken days to clean up. There were no reports of injuries, accidents or other serious emergencies following the storm.

At 6:14 p.m. on July 20, Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services received the first of what would total 65 requests for services over the next few hours. Requests for service were received through 9-1-1, business lines and person-to-person as responders were approached while on scene of other events. Residents were checked on in homes which had trees fall on them and crews remained on site in higher risk areas.

Public Works reports that there was no damage to any city-owned facilities or properties as a result of the storm, with the exception of a few minor outbuildings. Damage to those outbuildings was minor. Public Works have been working throughout the week removing downed and damaged trees from all city owned properties.

There is currently no damage cost estimate as a result of the storm. Fire services, RCMP, Public Works and BC Hydro were mobilized quickly to help secure areas of heaviest damage, ensure the safe continuation of municipal drinking water and sewer services and assist in cleanup of the community. Residents also quickly rallied in cooperation and support of their friends and neighbours, working to clear trees and debris to allow for BC Hydro crews and other utility personnel to access those areas to conduct repairs.

“One of the hallmarks of our city is how people pull together in time of need,” said Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski. “To make the best of a bad situation requires leadership on the ground by the agencies that carry that responsibility so that our citizens can be there for one another in a safe way. Congratulations to everyone on a job well done.”

Public Works is also assisting residents with removal of trees, stumps and branches from their properties, which began on Tuesday July 24. Residents are responsible for preparing the material into manageable sizes, to a maximum of eight feet in length and ensuring that it is accessible from the road or alley, as Public Works machinery and staff will not be entering private property.

Stumps will be picked up if the excavator can reach. City staff will not remove leaning or dangerous trees. If a fence needs to be removed to access, residents are responsible for that, as well as putting the fence back. To request a pickup, call Public Works at 250-489-0218 and be sure to leave your name, phone number and address.

Residents are also reminded that for any structural building repair required as a result of the windstorm, they are required to get a building permit. The permit application is available on the city website, under Engineering, or stop by their office at 1212 2nd Street North, behind the Library. You can also call 250-489- 0207 for more information.

Photos by: Ian Cobb/e-KNOW and Bruce Ogilvie

City of Cranbrook

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