July 23, 2014 - 6:22 PM
KAMLOOPS - The skies opened up over the city of Kamloops during a brief intense storm creating flooding across the city this afternoon.
Kamloops RCMP asked the public to avoid Overlanders Bridge for about an hour because run-off at the south end caused flooding that dumped debris across the road. Officers and city crews closed access to the bridge as they cleared the debris and one lane remains closed as they continued that work.
Flooding covered parks and streets across the city, including Riverside Park, Laval Crescent, Summit Drive, Notre Dame and the 10 Avenue underpass. Some areas smelled of sewage and grassy areas became marshy.
A rockslide closed a Highway 5 saw northbound lane between Sun Rivers and Mt. Paul Way, reducing it to a single lane and backing up traffic as well.
Downtown, several vehicles had to be towed or pushed out of high water while others remained stranded in the middle of the street on Laval Crescent.
Some people were rescued from the tops of vehicles and one driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, says he had to jump from the top of his vehicle to safety when it got stranded in high water. Another driver, stuck in the parking lot at Riverside Park, was pushed out of the high water by city staff.
Debris from construction on Pacific Way washed away down to Hugh Allen Drive and several other sites around the city saw dirt, gravel and landscaping washed away as well.
Residents at Sun Rivers remain without power. Corix workers are currently in the process of restoring it.
A weather advisory was issued shortly before the storm broke, bringing heavy rain, hail and lightning. An hour later the warning was downgraded to a watch in Kamloops while Shuswap, North Thompson and the Okanagan went from a warning to a watch a short while later. Another 15-25 millimetres of rain is expected Wednesday night along with more showers Thursday.
The city warns low-lying areas may still experience localized pooling and drivers are advised to use caution in flooded areas. Crews are clearing debris and pumping water as necessary and residents are asked to call 250-828-3461 if they experience excessive pooling.
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— Story updated at 6:19 p.m. with power outage information and additional reports from around Kamloops.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014