UPDATE: Local state of emergency called, city cleaning up

It could be another 72 hours before power is restored to all of Red Deer, city officials said Wednesday evening.

About 15 per cent of the city remained without power as of last night including: the west side of Riverside Meadows, Village Mall, Highland Green, Grandview, Eastview, Vanier Woods, Westlake, Fort Normandeau and the Riverside Drive area, including the Lions Campground. A number of small pockets were also without power.

Despite the severity and suddenness of the storm, injuries were few. The city said it had a report of one person injured at Lions Campground, who was treated and released from hospital. Two youngsters were also reportedly taken to hospital from the BMX park.

Mayor Tara Veer said at a Wednesday evening news conference that the local state of emergency declared earlier remains in effect. Veer said it has been a challenging time for the community and thanked residents for their patience.

Given what could be a lengthy period without power for some, the city urged residents to turn to friends, neighbours and family for help if needed. People can also call 211 and the city at 403-342-8111 for assistance or if they experience a new power outage lasting longer than two hours.

The city is providing regular updates through social media and on its website at www.reddeer.ca.

Paul Goranson, director of the city’s emergency operations centre, said after the cleanup and repair work got underway it was realized “it was much more severe than we originally anticipated.”

From 30 to 40 power poles were downed or damaged so badly they must be replaced. Complicating the repair job is the scale of the destruction to local trees. Many trees that have stood tall through everything nature could throw at them for decades succumbed on Wednesday, in some cases toppling onto power lines.

“The volume of the trees that have come down and the size of the trees is much larger than what we normally have to deal with,” he said, adding “that’s really the crux of the challenge we’re facing now and why it’s taking longer than first anticipated.”

The local state of emergency gives the city access to additional resources, including personnel, from other orders of government if required.

City manager Craig Curtis said on Wednesday morning that “Red Deer experienced an extreme storm last night; one that doesn’t compare to any I have ever experienced in Red Deer.”

City crews spent Tuesday night into Wednesday morning 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.

Some intersections are still without power and residents are urged to approach them with caution.

Ross Street, which was closed east of the downtown most of Wednesday, was expected to reopen last night.

The whole Waskasoo park system will remain closed until further notice to ensure the safety of residents and allow for the clean-up of the areas. River Bend Golf and Recreation Area, Dicovery Canyon, Oxbows Dog Off Leash Park and Great Chief Park are open.

Residents without power can use city recreation facilities for free to grab a shower, use Wi-Fi or recharge phones.

Below are some tips to follow during a power outage:Turn off appliances and unplug all sensitive electronic equipment. Keep one light switch turned on so you know when the power comes back on.

Think safety. Do not bring your gas or charcoal barbecue indoors. Be careful with candles.

Please consider food safety during a power outage. If the freezer door is left closed, food can stay frozen for many hours (12 to 48 hours depending on how full the freezer is and what kind of food is stored there). Most food will keep in the fridge for 24 hours. Dairy products, however, should be discarded after six hours.


Just Posted

Man killed in collision near Markerville

A 55-year-old man is dead after a collision near Markerville Friday night.… Continue reading

La Loche school shooter carried out plan with ‘stark efficiency:’ Crown

MEADOW LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan judge is weighing whether a teenager… Continue reading

Castor triple-murder trial resumes on Monday

Trial was delayed two weeks for two men accused of killing Castor-area family

Red Deer Royals are sending 1,000 letters to Trudeau

The band must pay for the last 20 per cent of fieldhouse costs

Central Alberta real estate market reflects Alberta’s slow recovery

Real estate markets will bounce back but incoming mortgage changes don’t help, say realtor groups

WATCH: A magical Harry Potter weekend in downtown Red Deer

Wizards, witches and muggles are flocking to downtown Red Deer to celebrate… Continue reading

B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns

FERNIE, B.C. — Residents who were forced from their homes because of… Continue reading

Trudeau condemns appointment of Mugabe as WHO ambassador

EDMONTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the appointment of Zimbabwe President… Continue reading

Friday Oct. 21: Winning Lotto Numbers

Friday, October 20, 2017 LOTTO MAX Winning Numbers 1 4 12 27… Continue reading

New northbound Hwy 2 lanes at Gaetz Avenue to open this Sunday

Drivers heading north through Red Deer on Hwy 2 will have a… Continue reading

Sockey Night at Saturday’s Rebels game

United Way Central Alberta is determined to provide warm feet for all… Continue reading

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month