July 24, 2014 8:20 am

Flash flooding and thunderstorms hit Kamloops and many interior towns

WATCH: Jeremy Hunka and Anne Drewa review the day’s storms.

The clean-up begins this morning after an intense system of torrential rain and wind across many parts of the province.

A torrential storm made its mark felt across much of British Columbia over the course of 12 hours Wednesday.

It started in Kamloops, where a cell of torrential rain caused flash flooding, turning roads into rivers and flooding basements.

But the storm soon spread to the Shuswap, the Okanagan, and eventually the Kootenays, causing torrential mudslides, thunderstorms, and downed Hydro poles.

Global BC meteorologist Yvonne Schalle says thunderstorms at this time of year aren’t uncommon – but the intensity of today’s weather was noteworthy.

“It was all courtesy of a low pressure system,” said Schalle.

“Some of the intense cells brought torrential rainfall that caused flash flooding that turned roads into rivers and flooding basements.”

WATCH: Stormy weather expected to pass

No injuries have been reported, but the area most affected overnight will be Sicamous.

Downed Hydro lines meant the majority of town was without power, while the two highways were closed for several hours.

BC Hydro estimates power will be restored to the affected areas by noon tomorrow.

A map provided by BC Hydro shows the areas of Sicamous without power Wednesday evening.


Story continues below

In West Kelowna, a mudslide caused major problems at the Kelowna West Estates mobile home park.

In Enderby, thunder and lightning caused the evacuation of 2,000 girl guides from around the world, who were in town for a camping event, to a nearby gym.

And across B.C., people reported lightning strikes that were precipitously close to homes.

But the storm first made its mark in Kamloops. While it lasted only about 25 minutes on Wednesday afternoon, it quickly overwhelmed drains and other infrastructure, forcing water and debris onto streets and into homes.

In the middle of the chaos, Kamloops Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance were called to pull a boy out of the Thompson River, which runs through the city.

A caller reported a boy screaming for help, but it was later confirmed he made it out safely.

Mike Adams, acting deputy chief for Kamloops Fire Rescue, said it was a chaotic few hours.

“The boy in the river, the vehicles that were stranded, people on top of the vehicles, lightning strikes, reports of fires. It’s been mayhem right now.”

“We’ve been working in partnership with other departments in the city — public works to be one of them, RCMP, BC Ambulance, Hydro, trying to co-ordinate our efforts and serve the city as best as we can.”

Mike Firlotte, manager of Utility Services with the City of Kamloops, said crews were investigating the scope of the damage.

He said a similar flash flood happened two years ago but this time the flooding was more widespread.

Dan Sutherland with Kamloops Fire Rescue said crews were responding to many reports of flooding in basements.

Environment Canada said as much as 25 millimetres of rain rolled over the region.

Meteorologist Doug Lundquist said more rain is expected on Thursday but clear skies are ahead on Friday, with lot of sun expected on the weekend.

Chad Graham, from a local car dealership, said he saw vehicles that were parked on the street floating in the water.

He said the vehicles were damaged further by others that passed by.

WATCH: Amazing viewer video of torrential rain and flash flooding in Kamloops Wednesday

severeweather

Credit: Tara Gostelow, CFJC

Gallery: Photos of Kamloops flooding submitted by Global BC viewers:

 

 

Report an error

Comments