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As the water begins to recede from Grand Forks’ flood-ravaged downtown, it’s been replaced by dozens of men and women walking around in safety vests, trying to assess how badly damaged the buildings are.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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

CRD warns of toxic algae bloom at Thetis Lake Regional Park

Visitors advised to avoid swimming in lake, keep pets out of water

Saanich police, pound respond to possible cougar sighting

Cougar possibly seen in area of 4500-block of Chatterton Way

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

Salish Sea scavenger hunt turns participants into citizen scientists

Public invited to join the Great Salish Sea BioBlitz

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Most Read