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Explosive storm batters CranbrookPosted: July 21, 2012
At approximately 6:20 p.m., July 20, a massive storm rolled over the City of Cranbrook, laying waste to hundreds of trees, damaging dozens of homes and yards, and landing atop numerous vehicles.
A city deputy fire chief, keeping people and traffic away from a tangle of downed power lines in the south-centre of the city, estimated (at about 6:45 p.m.) that city emergency crews, BC Hydro and other first response crews had more than 40 sites to contend with. Meanwhile, homeowners throughout the city emerged following the storm, with about 10-15 minutes of high winds and a further 20 minute deluge, to find carnage in their yards, with hundreds of trees downed, trampolines tipped, sections of fence blown over or crushed by trees and limb-fall.
Power lines were down on numerous streets, especially between 14th Avenue and 7th Avenue, with a couple of power poles broken.
Perhaps the most startling visual was the roof of Victoria Manor (near Tamarack Mall) blown off onto the street. A second floor resident, standing quietly on his deck, said he had escaped damage so far, but added, “I can’t say that about the people on the third floor.”
Because of a prolonged power outage, on a Friday evening (including the start of Mopar in the Rockies Car Show), city streets became plugged with onlookers, many packing cameras and cell phones.
The storm passed over Cranbrook and hit Kimberley next, forcing a shutdown (for the night only – the tourney resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday) of the JulyFest Bocee Tournament.
The Columbia Valley was hit hard by a portion of the enormous storm cell which traveled northeast from the U.S., bringing power lines down in Windermere.
The Elk Valley was also hammered by the storm. Details have yet to emerge about any other damage, though there are reports of many trees down in the Jaffray area.
At this time e-KNOW has not received any official reports on the storm or damages, but will provide updates when information becomes available.
E-KNOW is also inviting people from around the region to submit photos to [email protected] and we will publish a compilation.
The following are images taken during and immediately after tonight’s storm.
Carrie Schafer/Through My Eyes Photography
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