Following a violent windstorm last night, the City of Red Deer declared a local state of emergency in response to numerous power outages and fallen debris across Red Deer.
The local state of emergency gives the City access to additional resources, including personnel, from other orders of government if required.
The last state of emergency was declared in Red Deer four years ago to the date on June 20th, 2013 due to flooding. The current local state of emergency will remain in effect for one week unless it is terminated early.
Winds peaked at 112 km/hr, officials told media at a press conference this morning. Reports of a tornado are not confirmed at this point as City officials wait to hear word from Environment Canada. Power outages were recorded in 30% of the City at one point last evening. Two of the hardest hit areas in the City included Vanier Woods where 12 power poles came down and in the area behind Village Mall where a number of power lines were down.
As well, one person was injured during the storm at the Lion’s Campground but was treated and released from hospital.
“Red Deer experienced an extreme storm last night; one that doesn’t compare to any I have ever experienced in Red Deer,” said Craig Curtis, City manager. “The storm resulted in a number of power outages all across Red Deer. Due to the volume and complexity of outages, some neighbourhoods will take longer to be connected back to power. We are anticipating it could be up to two days for some areas, although this is only an estimate based on the information we have at this time.”
City crews spent the night assessing the damage as a result of the windstorm and triaging work, dealing with major safety issues first.
Red Deer County, the Town of Penhold and contractors have been providing assistance since early yesterday evening to help get power back on and clean up the City.
“The priorities today will be some crews will be assessing and giving inventory of the scope of the clean up but the main priority will be power restoration because that is what is impacting our businesses and citizens,” said Mayor Tara Veer.
As of Wednesday morning, power was still out in approximately 10% of Red Deer including the west half of Riverside Meadows (it is undetermined when power will be restored in this area), behind Village Mall, behind Highland Green (these areas are expected to have power back at 12:30 p.m.), Timberlands (undetermined when power will be restored), Vanier East (expected to be without power for 24 hours or more) and a small area of Riverside Drive area (undetermined when power will be restored).
A number of smaller outages are still being assessed.
The whole Waskasoo park system is currently closed until further notice to ensure the safety of residents and allow for the clean-up of the areas.
All transit routes will be in operation except for Route 12 to Gasoline Alley.
School closures on Wednesday include Gateway Christian, Mountview and Parkland.
To report downed trees, power outages or other issues related to the June 20th wind storm, call 403-342-8111. To report property damage, contact your insurance provider. In case of an emergency, call 911.
To clear downed trees from private property, hire a Certified Arborist. The Edgar Snow Storage Site (6859 Edgar Industrial Dr.) is open for residents to drop off tree debris. Site is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.