After a devastating flash flood hit Cache Creek, B.C., the town’s mayor declared a local state of emergency on Sunday.
Residents of a mobile home park and other homes were placed on evacuation order and the area is under a severe thunderstorm watch, according to Environment Canada.
“It was raining to the extent that you could swear it was the beginning of the end,” says John Ranta, reflecting on the intensity of the storm.
“It was rain combined with hail and it was unbelievable.”
Ranta says a state of emergency will ensure people are aware of potentially dangerous situations in and around town.
“It allows us to issue an evacuation order for properties that are in the path of potential landslides or otherwise,” he explains.
That evacuation order will affect about 20 households, and it will be lifted once slope stability and damaged homes are assessed.
Meanwhile, more people are registering for emergency services.
“That number has gone up to 97 people. There are 47 homes, at last count, which people are uncomfortable living in for one reason or another.”
The late afternoon storm on Saturday turned streets into dirty rivers, and piled debris, mud, tree trunks and garbage all over the town. Homes were knocked off their foundations and many homeowners are dealing with a layer of sludge on their floors.