Archive For The “hyperlocal journalism” Category
A “Pineapple Express” brought a major blizzard to the Kitimat region last week, dropping approximately 180 centimetres of snow from the morning of Thursday, February 5, 2015 until the skies cleared late on the afternoon of Saturday, February 7. In my neighborhood, the power first went out at about 3 pm on Thursday, came back at 11 pm. It went out about 11 am on Friday and didn’t come back until about 2:30 pm on Saturday.
Power was also out at Kitamaat Village from Thursday until late Sunday. Early Sunday morning, the Haisla Nation Council ordered a voluntary evacuation, with two convoys of vehicles heading to Kitimat. While many people stayed with friends and families, about 20 people took refuge at the Riverlodge Leisure Centre. Other members of the Haisla Nation stayed in the village, gathering at the Haisla Recreation Centre.
The clean up continues in Kitimat.
Images from Thursday night until Wednesday afternoon. A mixture of photos and frame grabs from video.
This gallery does not include the images I fed to The Canadian Press.
At this point, early into the storm, all the power was out in Kitimat, with the exception of the street lights on Haisla Boulevard, which illuminated a few trees as I shot this on Albatross Avenue. Sony Alpha 6000, ISO 3200, 1/30, F3.5 from my window. (Robin Rowland) (Higher ISO images were too noisy)
Friday February 6
The same view, from ground level, the next morning. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)
Heavy snow on branches (Robin Rowland)
As the power goes out again on Friday, heavy snow continues to fall. (Robin Rowland)
Trying to dig out in the early afternoon. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)
A pick up tries to make it through the heavy snow. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)
A District of Kitimat crew digs out the fire hydrant in front of my house, Friday afternoon. (Robin Rowland)
The snow was really heavy near sundown on Friday. (Robin Rowland)
Trying to dig out as night falls. Note that is supposed to be a pedestrian crossing. (Robin Rowland)
This front end loader was called in late Friday evening. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)…….
….so a Kitimat Fire and Rescue pumper could get back to the fire hall. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)
About 3 am Saturday, some lights came on in the Kildala neighborhood, while much of the rest of Kitimat was still in the dark. (Robin Rowland)
On Saturday morning, much of Kitimat was buried under about 170 centimetres and the snow was still falling. (Robin Rowland)
Digging out begins again as the blizzard tapers off. (Robin Rowland)
A raven flies overhead as the snow stops falling. (Robin Rowland)
As the storm ends, two people walk on the heavy snow on Albatross Avenue. (Robin Rowland)
With the storm ending, the beauty of the trees and snow. (Robin Rowland)
A view of the snow covered Kitimat estuary and Douglas Channel after the storm. (Robin Rowland)
Sunday, February 8
Digging out the trailer park. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)
BC Hydro contractors at a road block at the entrance to the Kitamaat Village Road. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)
Monday, February 9
Clearing a roof Monday morning. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)
On Monday morning, side streets were still clogged with snow. Framegrab. (Robin Rowland)
And the Service Centre was still digging out. Framegrab (Robin Rowland)
A snowblower clears the sidewalk behind my house. For those not familiar with Kitimat, as part of the original Garden City plan, sidewalks are generally behind houses. (Robin Rowland)
Heavy equipment digs out the fire hydrant in front of my house. As seen above it’s usually two guys with shovels. I estimated there was at least three metres, perhaps four metres, of snow on top of the hydrant, put there earlier by the snow blower clearing the street. (Robin Rowland)
Updates with cause, Friday morning situation
A wildfire broke out in the Strawberry Meadows neighborhood, about two kilometres south of Kitimat, around 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Kitimat Fire and Rescue quickly responded to the call, setting up a command post at the back of the Oviatt Contracting construction yard which was close to the fire. The District of Kitimat says the fire was caused by an unattended canpfire on the Kitimat River bank. The fire began about 100 metres square and driven by strong winds, quickly spread to two hectares and then about three. (The District release says the fire was about one hectare, the one to three hectare estimate came from those on scene at the time). Oviatt officials say the fire was technically in Haisla territory, within the boundaries of the estuary and river reserve area #1, a traditional Haisla fishing area.
Kitimat Fire and Rescue found that the overgrown brush near the river was too thick and called in the BC Wildfire forestry service firefighters. As they waited, Kitimat Fire organized a firebreak with the help of Oviatt employees on site which luckily had all the heavy equipment needed to cut a gap through the bush to the river. By 5 p.m. winds had spread the smoke and haze throughout the town.
At one point fish camps on the Lower Dyke Road were evacuated as a precaution. First one, then two Forest Service helicopters arrived to fight the fire, and later were joined by a aerial tanker from Smithers which made about six or seven drops on the fire. A second firebreak was pushed through the bush.
The tanker was then redirected to a fire near Terrace while the helicopters continued to drop water on the fire. At the height of operations, according to a release from the District of Kitimat, seven BC Forestry Service Firefighters on the scene and 12 Kitimat Firefighters were there monitoring the fire guards for any hot spots.
The firefighters were worried that strengthening winds would drive the fire either toward the upscale homes in Strawberry Meadows or toward the fishing camps along the river on the Lower Dyke Road. While the wind did become much stronger in the early evening, the weather was quickly turning cool and there were light raindrops by the time the District said the fire was contained at 8:18 p.m. Kitimat Fire and Rescue left a crew at the Oviatt site overnight to monitor for hotspots.
As of Friday morning forestry crews were surveying the area for “a dangerous tree assessment” and to check for hotspots. The District of Kitimat reminded everyone in the news release that a campfire ban is in effect.