Crews respond to flooding, fires caused by lightening and electrical hazards
The sever, soaking thunderstorm that rumbled through the city early on Thursday morning put a number of Edmontonians in peril and Edmonton Fire Crews responded to the many distress calls.
Over 40 emergencies were called in after the thunderstorm left the city. At least 20 calls came from drivers and passengers of cars that were stranded on Whitemud Drive, which had flooded during the storm.
Edmonton Fire Department crews were also called to two fires started by lightening and four separate emergency calls related to flooding and electrical hazards.
“This was a challenging morning for Fire Rescue,” said Fire Chief Ken Block, “and for many residents, it was a traumatic one. I want to thank our crews and other city staff who responded. It took a team effort to ensure no one got hurt and to deal with the high number of calls. Thanks to all the Edmontonians who cooperated with emergency officials – we can’t do our jobs without the public’s help.”
The morning commute was tricky as parts of Whitemud Drive and 66 Street were closed due to flash flooding, but were reopened by noon.
In the southeast end of the city, Mill Woods Recreation Centre was closed as a result of the storm. The facility will remain closed until at least Monday, July 16, 2012. The exception is the arena space which continues to be available for bookings.
The closure will allow City of Edmonton staff to assess damage to the facility. Power was shut off so staff could safely access the basement, which was flooded with approximately 5 feet of water. The extent of damage to the electrical and pumping systems will impact when the pool can re-open. Information about facility openings and closures is available online. You can also subscribe to receive updates by email or RSS.
All River Valley trails are open, but some are quite wet as a result of the heavy rainfall. Citizens are encouraged to use caution on the trails and call 311 to report fallen trees or tree branches on City-owned property. City of Edmonton staff will respond in priority order.