Hudson's Hope removing sinkhole sirens

Warning sirens installed in 1996 are slated for removal, confirmed Hudson’s Hope Mayor Dave Heiberg. The sirens were put in place in by BC Hydro following the discovery of a sinkhole in the top of WAC Bennett Dam. A date has not yet been decided for removal, but has been budgeted for 2021. 

The sirens, 24 years later, are severely outdated and require manual activation by staff at each site.

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“Those sirens have been obsolete for some time now, and they’re not really useable,” said Heiberg.

Intended to warn residents of a potential dam breach, seven sirens were placed across the District of Hudson’s Hope, powered by nitrogen bottles attached to batteries with a charging system.

Initially the sirens were radio controlled, but after two separate accidental activations in April and May of 1997, the radios were removed.

It’s estimated the sirens will cost $7,636 to remove, factoring in costs for telehandlers and labour. The district pays $2,200 per year to lease the nitrogen cylinders in the system.

A siren located on Millar Road will also be removed as part of Highway 29 realignment for Site C, with BC Hydro footing the bill. 

In 2019, the district opted to take part in the North East BC Emergency and Public Alerts system, making the sirens redundant.

The new system sends out alerts by phone, email, and text. Unlike the sirens, the messages detail the potential hazard along with instructions regarding the proper actions to take.

Email reporter Tom Summer at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca

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