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As the water begins to recede from Grand Forks’ flood-ravaged downtown, it’s been replaced by dozens of men and women walking around in safety vests, trying to assess how badly damaged the buildings are.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

Community and collaboration drive Binche Fishing Derby

Family time, forward thinking and positive initiatives to be highlighted

Dr. Paul Stent awarded Key to the Community

On June 4, local physician Dr. Paul Stent was presented with the… Continue reading

Audit finds Canfor did not comply with bridge maintenance legislation

Per a news release issued by the Forest Practices board, an independent… Continue reading

Tenth B.C. Justice Summit continues dialogue on Indigenous justice

Per an information bulletin courtesy of the Ministry of Attorney General and… Continue reading

Fort St. James Taekwon Do enjoys success at provincials

The Fort St. James Family Taekwon Do team has achieved enormous success… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

QB Jennings leads Lions to 22-10 win over Alouettes

B.C. wins CFL home opener over Montreal

Most Read