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As the water begins to recede from Grand Forks’ flood-ravaged downtown, it’s been replaced by dozens of men and women walking around in safety vests, trying to assess how badly damaged the buildings are.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

Vernon man seeks glory, beer, on frozen pond

Financial advisor Randy Wilson plays in one of world’s largest pond hockey tournaments

Vernon Mission bundles up for Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser

Coldest Night of the Year walk looks to give a unique perspective on sleeping rough

Regional district seeks $13 million to get rolling on Rail Trail

Federal grant would pay for a paved path from Sicamous to Armstrong

Vernon missionary helps feed Guatemalan children

Seeds to Harvest brings Gleaner’s food to those in need to relief efforts.

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Thieves steal bottles, mattress from recycle depot

Chase RCMP still investigating theft of tires, generator from commercial garage

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Cold War Cabaret offers song, slam poetry and sock puppets

Devon More returns to Shuswap with Berlin Waltz, March 16

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read