VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

As the water begins to recede from Grand Forks’ flood-ravaged downtown, it’s been replaced by dozens of men and women walking around in safety vests, trying to assess how badly damaged the buildings are.

Assistant fire Chief Kevin McKinnon said that just shy of 50 people have been trained up over the past few days to tackle the more than 1,400 homes and businesses damaged in the flood.

“The assessors all have three different coloured placards: green, no restrictions to get back in; yellow, restricted use and then [red], unsafe, we don’t believe people should be going in until it’s been properly inspected,” said McKinnon.

However, McKinnon warned that even if a building receives a green card, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to get back inside. The evacuation orders, which cover 1,600 people in Grand Forks alone, and 3,000 people altogether throughout the region, still stand.

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

The assessment teams are typically made up of building inspectors, firefighters or just anyone with a bit of building structure know-how.

Bill White, who led five teams of rapid damage assessors for BC Housing before retiring two years ago, came up from Vancouver to help in Grand Forks.

“Generally, what we want them to do is go around the building and take a look at each side of the building. If they’re able to get in, then they go in an take a look at the contents and that gives them more information,” said White.

The teams try to determine if the damage is structural, or something as easily fixed as a water-logged electrical box, White added.

Structural damage results in a red placard, White noted, and serious concerns about the building’s ability to stay standing.

“There’s two main areas of concern. It might be a slope stability problem if they’re down near the river. If it’s damage to the building, it’s a structural problem and we’d ask for follow up with a structural engineer or a geotechnical engineer.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Regional district changes decision on vote results of 3L amendment request

Amendment request was defeated by board Tuesday; ruling overturned by staff Wednesday

Riverfront proposal in Comox Valley remains on hold

Directors consider application a standard amendment

MusicFest weekend in the Comox Valley ‘fantastic’

With clear skies and warm temperatures bathing the crowd at the Comox… Continue reading

Island Health announces addition of 38 beds for seniors care in the Comox Valley

17 beds at Comox Valley hospital; 21 beds at St. Joe’s

VIDEO: North Island Hospital heliport flight testing

Island Health, in conjunction with Helijet, tested the heliports Tuesday as part… Continue reading

Comox Valley soccer camp growing

Annual camp includes younger kids

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018… Continue reading

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

Big BC49 winner in Comox

Check your tickets

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Cumberland businesses on board with potential single-use plastic ban

Mayor Leslie Baird heartened by support for the initiative

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

Most Read