Kitimat “Coping Really Well” Following Massive Snowfall
Prince George, B.C. – And you thought Prince George had a lot of snow the past few days.
Try Kitimat, where over 165 centimeters has fallen since Thursday morning.
“I hear we broke a record but I don’t know, when it hits four feet, five feet, or six feet, it just looks deep,” says the district’s chief administrative officer Ron Poole.
He says the last comparable snowfall to hit the region was back in 1999 but notes it was over a 24 hour period, not steady and sustained like it’s been this time around.
“The problem with it falling steady like it is every couple of hours you’re clearing the same roads.”
Poole says he’s glad the snow has stopped, but adds rain is in the forecast, which can also pose challenges.
“That means we’re going to have a lot of water on the streets so the key is to get our drains opened up in the next day or so to make sure it drains.”
He also says power was restored yesterday, but notes that’s not the case for neighbouring Kitimaat Village, who are under an evacuation order.
“800 people are affected but it doesn’t mean 800 left. BC Hydro was providing pilot cars between 5:00 and 8:00 this morning to allow people to leave.”
Poole says those taking advantage of the evacuation are finding refuge in Kitimat’s recreation centre which he says is “providing heat and food for those that couldn’t stay in their homes.”
In the meantime he says Kitimat’s 9,000 or so residents managed to escape the snowstorm without injury.
“No injuries. We had a few calls yesterday to our Emergency Operations Centre from people calling to say they handn’t seen their parents or grandparents and so we would check on them. But nothing became an emergency and it’s definitely pulled the community together.”