City crews have been busy ever since a torrential rain storm dumped an estimated two inches of water in about 20 minutes in parts of Williams Lake Saturday.
“We know a guy who had a glass of water out on his deck and after the storm it was still sitting there and had two and half inches of water in it,” said the city’s acting chief administrative officer Geoff Goodall.
“I’ve never seen rain like that, it was incredible and it overwhelmed everything we own here.”
Most of the manholes in the lower sections of the city popped lids because the entire storm system surcharged.
The worst part hit the downtown, northeast and toward the Fraser River.
One section of Fourth Avenue near Cariboo Lodge filled with water.
Water went up against the lodge, blew in two windows, and street water poured into the basement.
“That place is giant and there were eight to ten inches of water through the entire foot print of Cariboo Lodge,” Goodall said.
The storm destroyed gardens and lawns and many people had flooded basements.
There was damage to a storm water outlet in the river valley below Comer Street, numerous washouts, and a 15 metre-section of one lane of Mackenzie Avenue looks like it’s been undermined.
Cindy Nadeau was teaching Food Safe at Thompson Rivers University on Western Avenue and said the hail that fell was so loud she had to stop teaching during the storm.
Then the power flickered and the projector and computer stopped working for a bit.
Once the storm was over she went back to teaching, but when her students went out for a break they noticed there were a couple of inches of water at one end of the building by the washrooms.
“There were two to three inches of water down by the washrooms,” Nadeau said.
From his house partly way up Dog Creek Road, Goodall watched the “ominous” storm move in.
“It was mind boggling,” he said.
“This tall black cloud came in, and then all of a sudden it just seemed to drop into the valley and before you knew it the clouds were below the tops of the hills, swirling and whipping around.”
There were numerous lightning strikes that appeared as if they were striking somewhere in the valley, he added.
The tension crack along the top of the river valley near the abandoned Jack Pine Forest Products site on Frizzi Road dropped down, Goodall said.
It didn’t go all the way down to the bottom and into the creek, although some debris ended up in a gully below and crews have been working to remove the debris.
Within 10 minutes of the storm hitting, city staff were out in full force, Goodall said.
They worked late into the evening Saturday and full crews were out Sunday and have continued through the week cleaning up.