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Major flash flooding in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS (NEWS1130) – Mother nature is wreaking havoc in Downtown Kamloops.

A thunderstorm has caused flash flooding, and one of the bridges had to be closed because of runoff and debris coming down.

Angelo Iacobucci with Radio NL says crews are doing all they can to keep up.

“Kamloops City Hall is flooded, Kamloops Fire Hall Number 1 is flooded. Highway 5 going into the North Thompson near Sun Rivers, a landslide has closed one of the lanes going north. So, basically what we have is widespread flooding, no injuries, but we haven’t seen a deluge like that in this city for 35 years.”

He says people are being told to stay off the roads. “The main bridge to get from north Kamloops to south Kamloops, called the Overlander Bridge, one of the lanes is blocked off because of debris. There are cars in underpasses under 10 to 20 feet of water.”

Environment Canada says roughly 25 millimetres of rain fell in half an hour between 2 and 2:30 p.m. He says it’s a miracle no injuries have been reported. “To put it mildly, it was the 2014 version of Noah’s Ark, Kamloops style.”

Iacobucci says another 25 millimetres of rain is expected over the next 12 hours.

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The Mayor of Kamloops says the city is cleaning up roads and clearing out culverts. Peter Milobar says it was the worst flood he’s ever experience.

“In terms of an instant flash, absolutely, I’m hard pressed to think of anything like this and I’ve lived here my whole life. It was very intense, it was very short-lived. You always hear 50 millimeters but when was the last time that actually came to pass. It’s pretty hard to mobilize when it’s actually raining. It came so fast, it was over before crews could literally try to get to places, where they were already getting hit.”

He says they have enough crews to handle the mess for now. The province has offered to help out if necessary.