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As the water begins to recede from Grand Forks’ flood-ravaged downtown, it’s been replaced by dozens of men and women walking around in safety vests, trying to assess how badly damaged the buildings are.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

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

New Seven Sisters replacement confirmed

Mental health facility will have 25 beds, up from 20 in current facility

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Gallery: Project Heavy Duty inspires students into it’s 32nd year

The event is a collaboration between SD91 and industry in and around Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

Most Read