In response to the severe windstorm that occurred on December 20, 2018, the City of Delta activated its Emergency Operations Centre at 1:00 pm. Both Engineering Operations and the Delta Fire Department activated their Department Operations Centres to coordinate the City’s response.
“On behalf of Council, I want to thank residents for their patience and resilience during the recent windstorm,” said Mayor George V. Harvie. “I also want to offer my sincere thanks to City staff for their storm response efforts. It is so gratifying to witness all levels of the organization immediately set aside other priorities and work together to help the community through a difficult situation.”
In total, the City received and responded to 329 calls for service related to downed trees, debris and power lines from the December 20th windstorm, along with traffic signal failures. Of the 329 calls, 102 were assigned to Delta Fire for emergency response. Over 80 staff from Engineering Operations crews were involved in the storm response, which lasted several days. Many crews worked through the night of December 20th clearing trees and debris, monitoring pump stations, coordinating with emergency services and restoring access to services.
Delta Police received a total of 19 calls related to the storm. Three supervisors and 13 Constables managed the calls for service, including the provision of traffic control and security at various locations in the City. Two files of note:
- Gray Elementary: Two transformer utility poles fell and wires were down in front of the school, resulting in a hazardous situation for students and staff. The school was placed in lockdown with Shelter-in-Place protocols. DPD worked with Administrators and the School Board to develop and execute evacuation plans for parents to pick-up students at neighboring Sands High School. No injuries.
- 6th Avenue/ 18-28139 Galbraith Crescent/18-28133 Graham Drive: Trees fell and landed onto houses. No occupants home. No Injuries.
During the height of the windstorm, Delta Fire had 12 apparatus attending calls throughout the City – four additional trucks with corresponding crews were added to assist in the emergency response. E-COMM was overwhelmed by the number of calls it received. In response, Delta Fire worked with E-COMM dispatch and City Engineering staff to transfer less urgent calls to City Crews, enabling Fire crews to attend more urgent calls. A majority of the calls received by Delta Fire were from South Delta and involved downed trees on houses, roadways and vehicles. Key highlights include:
- Responded to two calls for pulled gas lines from downed trees;
- Responded to a call from a person stuck in an elevator;
- Escorted/assisted 20 seniors back to their units at Kin Village (due to power outage and inoperable elevator);
- Ongoing communication and coordination with Delta School District to shelter-in-place until it was safe to send children home;
- Wires down and hanging along the Southern Railway tracks in North Delta – rail company was immediately notified to halt all rail traffic; and
- Multiple alarm calls due to power outage.
On the morning of December 21st, the City opened Warming Centres at South Delta Recreation Centre and North Delta Recreation Centre to assist residents that remained without power. The following morning of December 22nd, residents without power were invited to their local recreation centre to warm up, enjoy a hot beverage and shower, if desired. According to Parks and Recreation staff, the City only received a couple of residents at each Warming Centre.
Delta’s Temporary Extreme Weather Shelter was also open the evening of December 20th and onwards from 9pm to 7am at Ladner United Church (4960 48 Avenue).
For more information on this news release, contact the Mayor’s Office at 604-946-3210 or e-mail email@example.com
George V. Harvie, Mayor