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article imageState of Emergency declared in Port Hardy B.C. due to flooding

By Chanah Rubenstein     Sep 25, 2010 in Environment
A state of emergency has been declared for the northern Vancouver Island town of Port Hardy due to heavy rain causing flooding.
On Friday Night, mudslides blocked the main road into Port Alice, a small town 45 minutes south of Port Hardy. The mudslide created walls of mud and debris four meters high and 30 meters wide.
The heavy rain and mud had left 45 workers trapped inside the town's Neucel Pulp Mill; they were soon transported out via boat. The road is the only way in and out of the mill. The Mill may be without power for as long as a week.
RCMP sgt. Phil Lue said Saturday that it's still raining quite hard. “It’s basically torrential downpours. They’re calling for upwards of 70 millimetres of rain today. We’re very lucky no one was reported missing or injured," he said.
Vancouver Island is known to have high levels of rain, but according to Sgt. Lue, the amounts this weekend are quite rare. "I can’t remember the last time it has rained this hard for this length of time." It is expected to continue for the next 5 days or so.
In Port Hardy, the Mayor declared a state of emergency due to the flooding.
Many Port Hardy residents are unable to access their homes or remain inside them. A community center was opened to meet their needs. A similar program was started in Port Alice and a Emergency Response Command Team worked to evacuate a trailer park.
Sgt. Lue advises people to not leave their homes unless they need to. “We’re appealing to people to stay off the roads, if at all possible, for their own safety and so that emergency crews can do their jobs," he said.
More about Flooding, State emergency, Mudslides, Pulp mill
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