Kelowna was walloped by four hours of intense rain, wind and lightning which sent fire crews scrambling all through the night.
When all was said and done, deputy fire chief Jason Brolund said the Kelowna Fire Department responded to 91 incidents, including 10 smoke sightings, six wildfires, 22 reports of flooding, two marine rescues on Okanagan Lake, 27 fire alarms, not to mention a fire in a high rise hotel and a hazardous materials incident involving an ammonia leak.
“Wide spread power outages, multiple reports of lightning strikes, widespread flooding and road washouts further complicated emergency responses,” said Brolund.
“Almost all available fire apparatus were pressed into service to deal with the volume of calls received in a priority sequence,” he said. “Multiple shifts of off duty staff and paid on call members were recalled to duty.”
While on the ground crews were run off their feet, Brolund noted that behind the scenes was no better.
“Four dispatch staff worked under incredibly demanding conditions to process over 400 telephone calls from the public, including 125 9-1-1 calls in less than four hours,” he said. “In this same time period, over 700 radio transmissions were also sent and received from emergency responders in the field.”
Dehart Rd is currently closed at Swamp and Crawford roads are closed at Westpoint Road. Both roads are expected to reopen to alternating traffic in the next few hours as crews work to clean up debris and washouts.
Crews continue to follow up on flooding reports, smoke sightings and spot fires late this evening