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Storm's end in sight, damage minimal in the North Peace

Environment Canada says the “end is in sight” for the deluge of rain and whipping winds that have caused calamity throughout the Peace Region.
Trees were blown over in Fish Creek Community Forest due to high winds. - Zoë Ducklow Photo

Environment Canada says the “end is in sight” for the deluge of rain and whipping winds that have caused calamity throughout the Peace Region.

“It looks like the end is in sight, as the rain has stopped in the North Peace,” meteorologist Lisa Coldwells wrote in an email to the Alaska Highway News. “Ten to 15 more millimetres will fall over Chetwynd and then end this evening.”

As Dawson Creek and Chetwynd received the brunt of the two-day storm--washing out roads, bridges and rail lines, and shutting down Highway 97 through the Pine Pass-- damage appears to have been minimal north of the Peace River.

Officials in Taylor said no flooding in the community has been reported, aside from some homes that experienced flooded basements from sloped yards. Water did cover the Peace Island Park causeway and park users were evacuated by the district.

The Ministry of Transportation is monitoring the South Taylor Hill, where major highway construction is taking place, for possible slides.

Residents are asked to not use forested community trails due to all the debris on the paths. - Zoë Ducklow Photo


In Fort St. John, trails and fields remain closed as officials assess damage and danger to the public. Fallen trees are being removed and officials are assessing additional risk from old or dead trees that were destabilized by the storm. Once these risky trees have been addressed, the city will reopen trails to the public. Officials expect this to take a few days.

According to Environment Canada estimates, Fort St. John appears to have so far received the least amount of rain during the storm, with a total of 55.8 millimetres. Compare that to Dawson Creek, which received 105.6 mm, or Chetwynd, which received 129.6.

Fort St. John officials say public works infrastructure has not been impacted.

However, many fields have also flooded in the city and assessments are currently underway. The city asks that people stay off the fields in the meantime to prevent damage. Most power outages have been restored, and no road damage has been reported.

In Hudson’s Hope, residents have been relatively unaffected by the storm. District staff told the Alaska Highway News they aren’t aware of any issues from the wet weather in the community, and that the rain has subsided.

Similarly, Fort Nelson has not been badly affected. None of the public infrastructure has been damaged by the wet weather.

"It's still a little drizzly out there, but no infrastructure issues relating to the weather," said Scott Barry, director of public works with the municipality.

"It's wet and soggy, but we are nowhere near the issues that are occurring in the southern communities." 
While there have been river rises in the area, it's "nothing significant," Barry said, adding that the two regional parks in the Northern Rockies remain open to the public.
"We have some local rain gages that we use for our own infrastructure, so as of this morning we were only at about 45 mm in town of rain over the past, I’d say 24 to 36 hours, so we’re not anywhere close to what the Peace has seen, especially Chetwynd and Dawson Creek," he said.


The following is a summary from Environment Canada of unofficial storm total rainfall amounts in millimetres as of 6 a.m. Thursday:

Chetwynd: 129.6 mm
Lemoray: 114.0 mm
Dawson Creek: 105.6 mm
Link Creek: 75.4 mm
Braden Road: 91.5 mm
Mackenzie: 51.7 mm
Fort St. John: 55.8 mm

The Beatton River is looking muddy today, but is not close to breaching its banks.. - Zoë Ducklow Photo

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