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Thrums homes being evacuated, mudslides throughout Castlegar
The storm already seems to be slacking, but chances are the consequences are just beginning to be felt after a fierce thunderstorm pummelled Castlegar Tuesday afternoon.
Source readers reported sunny skies in Trail and along Highway 3, but as drivers drew near Genelle at roughly 2:30 p.m., they were treated to hot sun and a view of black skies and forked lightning above Castlegar, where a punishing rain caused flash flooding throughout the city.
Frances Maika, information officer with the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) of the RDCK, confirmed at 5:48 p.m. that there was a mudslide in the lookout Road area in Thrums, east of Castlegar.
“The RCMP and Ministry of Transportation are on site along with Tarrys Fire Department,” she said. “RCMP have done a tactical evacuation of three homes. We’re looking at an evacuation order for further homes.”
She said further information will be forthcoming regarding rumours of a landslide near Selkirk College and flooding in Genelle.
“There’s been 50mm of rain at Castlegar airport in one hour.”
City manager John Malcolm said emergency and city crews were fully deployed.
“All four fire department squads are deployed,” he said, “and city crews have called for additional help in flood control and sandbagging. There are several mudslides, including one on Hwy 3A near the Brilliant Dam, one near Selkirk College and even driveways spilling out onto Hwy 22.”
He said there was a partial basement collapse in Blueberry, with no injuries reported.
“And Merry Creek’s having serious issues,” he added.
Kevin Chernoff, city councillor and manager of Trowelex, said his company is not only out of pumps, but they’re actually flooding themselves.
“We have water up to the axles of my truck tires,” he said.
Part of Western Trucking's parking lot has sloughed into Waterloo Road, according to fire chief Gerry Rempel.
“We’ve probably had 30 calls so far – there are mudslides all over the city,” said Rempel at roughly 5:05 p.m. “We’ve got small slides on First Avenue and Third Avenue.
“We have to head back to the hall and see where we’re at – public works is running ragged, too,” Rempel. “We thought Saturday’s storm was something.”
During the interview a call came in about a large tree down on the rail tracks near 33rd Street, and Rempel was forced to cut the interview short.
As of 5:47 p.m., a pumper truck was dealing with flooding in Boston Pizza parking lot.
The owner/manager of Whispering Pines Trailer Park reported at 6:12 p.m. that BC Hydro's berm road is holding, but there is no longer access to the riverside roads in Genelle (17th Avenue and Lower China Creek Road).