The Nelson area has faced a wave of storms and heavy rain, causing power outages and flooding.
Power was out in Kaslo from 4 p.m. Friday until 7 p.m. Saturday. The outage caused The Kaslo Pump (Esso) to stop pumping gas, meaning Kaslo Mohawk had to support all the traffic. Mohawk ended up running out of gas mid-afternoon Saturday leaving motorists with only two refueling options, Lardeau Valley Service at Cooper Creek, or Gill and Gift at the Balfour ferry landing. Mohawk finally got refueled mid-afternoon Sunday.
The Crawford Bay area was also without power for about 26 hours starting Friday.
“It was the longest [power outage] that I have ever seen in the summertime,” said Tom Lymbery, chief promoter of Gray Creek and the East Shore. “It was a lot of inconvenience, especially when there are more people in the district.
“We have had some winter power outages, but we definitely don’t expect anything like this in the summer. The weather is quite unusual.
“They are supplying us power from Creston, so that’s why it takes longer because we need to have people called in from further away.”
Many local stores were affected as it was a busy weekend with Starbelly Jam drawing hundreds of people into the area.
“It definitely put you into the reactive mode when it [the power outage] is for so long. You have contingencies for shorter outages, but when they span past 24 hours, it provides a whole new host of problems.” said Debbie Plishka, manager of the Gray Creek Store. “We basically helped with the essential needs at the store here, so spark plugs for generators and things like that.
“Unfortunately we were not able to do normal business. The big festival here brought a lot of folks this way, so some of that opportunity was obviously lost.”
Nelson faced numerous weather related problems beginning with major flooding that occurred on Tuesday last week.
“The majority of the damage occurred on Tuesday afternoon,” said Rob Nystrom, Nelson’s manager of engineering services. “The flooding was fairly widespread across the city.”
A manhole on the intersection of Nelson Avenue and Hall Street was actually pushed right out of the pavement, and there was also some undermining, which resulted in two major repairs needing to be performed.
The flooding on Nelson Avenue forced traffic to be diverted by Nelson Police.
Streams of water also brought debris onto the sidewalks and streets. Luckily the weather improved on Wednesday so crews were able to clean up the city.
The total cost of all the damage is still not clear, as further clean up is needed.
“The cost is split into two, so there’s the response itself during the emergency and then there’s the aftermath where we are cleaning up,” said Nystrom. “We will probably be cleaning up and repairing things for a couple of months.
“Right now we are just using our regular maintenance budget, so those areas are going to be hit fairly hard. Though I did apply for some assistance from the government to see if they will give us a handout because of the catastrophic nature of this past event.”
On Friday afternoon another wind storm swept through Nelson. A tree fell onto View Street blocking traffic. Nothing was damaged by the tree. A few trees fell onto power lines in Cottonwood Lake Park and delayed traffic. No one was injured, but people had to wait for three hours as crews removed the trees.
Nelson also faced a few minor power outages last week, and on Friday power was out on the North Shore for about 12 hours.