City declares state of emergency following devastating windstorm

By rdnewsNOW staff
June 20, 2017 - 8:09pm Updated: June 21, 2017 - 11:39am

RED DEER- Following a tremendous windstorm last night, The City of Red Deer has declared a local state of emergency in response to numerous power outages and fallen debris across Red Deer.

The local state of emergency gives The City access to additional resources, including personnel, from other orders of government if required.

“Red Deer experienced an extreme storm last night; one that doesn’t compare to any I have ever experienced in Red Deer,” said Craig Curtis, City Manager. “The storm resulted in a number of power outages all across Red Deer. Due to the volume and complexity of outages, some neighbourhoods will take longer to be connected back to power. We are anticipating it could be up to two days for some areas, although this is only an estimate based on the information we have at this time.”

City crews spent the night assessing the damage as a result of the windstorm and triaging work, dealing with major safety issues first. Red Deer County, the Town of Penhold and contractors have been providing assistance since early yesterday evening to help get power back on and clean up the city.

Power is still out in approximately 20 per cent of Red Deer:

- West half of Riverside Meadows – undetermined
- Behind Village Mall – behind Highland Green – expected to have power back at 12:30 p.m.
- Timberlands – undetermined
- Grandview, Eastview – expected to have power back this morning.
- Vanier East – 24 hours or more  Riverside Drive area (small) - undetermined

A number of smaller outages are still being assessed.

Some areas of Ross Street are closed. When entering the downtown westbound on Ross Street, detour at 40 Avenue north to 55 Street or south to 39 Street. For exiting the downtown core, choose routes other than Ross Street at this time.

The entire Waskasoo park system is currently closed until further notice to ensure the safety of residents and allow for the clean-up of the areas. All transit routes will be in operation except for route 12 to Gasoline Alley.

Residents can get up-to-date information on The City’s website at www.reddeer.ca, by calling 403-3428132 during this event or by following us on Facebook and Twitter. Call 403-342-8132 if assistance is needed as a result of the power outage.

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Yet another wicked windstorm ripped through Red Deer and central Alberta Tuesday evening, leaving behind a mass of downed trees and power lines in its wake.

Wind speeds upwards of 110 kilometres an hour were reported.

The storm blew into the city at about 6:30 p.m. Within minutes shingles were flying from houses, homes were left in the dark and trees were giving in to the gale force winds.

Severe thunderstorm warnings for the region were ended just after 9 p.m. but not before a visually spectacular amount of damage was done.

The City of Red Deer has an Emergency Response Centre as they work to coordinate their response.

A state of local emergency was declared just after 12:30 a.m. due to the severe damage and vast power outages caused by the storm. The move gives the City of Red Deer access to resources from other levels of government to help with recovery efforts.

If you are in Red Deer and wish to report downed power lines or trees, call 403-342-8132.

Red Deer residents needing to report a power outage are asked to call 403-348-5700.

At 11:39 p.m. the City tweeted "Power may come on overnight in some areas while others may take longer due to volume & severity of outages."

The City of Red Deer is also reminding residents to NOT call 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency.

Red Deer's water treatment plant is running on auxiliary power and officials say the city's water is safe to drink.

To report an outage outside the city, call Fortis Alberta at 310-WIRE.

Red Deer County's Community Well-being survey

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