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Deluge, flash flood hits Fort St. John

A brief bout of torrential rain and high winds caused flash flooding in Fort St. John on Tuesday night. Intense rain began around 7 p.m., causing floods around Mathews Park and at several points along the Alaska Highway.

 A brief bout of torrential rain and high winds caused flash flooding in Fort St. John on Tuesday night.

Intense rain began around 7 p.m., causing floods around Mathews Park and at several points along the Alaska Highway.

The hardest-hit area was 93 Avenue between the Stonebridge Hotel and Canadian Tire, where Knappett Industries is finishing a $3-million storm sewer project.

Peter Loetscher, the site superintendent for the project, said there was simply too much rain too fast, which lifted and dislodged two newly installed pipes.

"We'll fix it," Loetscher said, adding that he doesn't expect delays because the project is ahead of schedule. Flooding in the area had mostly receded by 9:30 p.m.

Just how much rain the city saw is unknown. Weather officials weren't immediately available to comment.

Residents in the Mathews Park neighbourhood also reported flooding. Police had intersections in the area blocked off for around 90 minutes before reopening around 9 p.m.

City spokesperson Julie Rogers says Alaska Road North at 104 Street would remain closed overnight for monitoring, as early reports show some "buckling" of the road due to the storm.

There aren't any immediate reports of flood damage.

At Napa Auto Parts, assistant store manager Jason Stewart was doing some light mop up in the store shortly after 9 p.m. Though the centre of some pretty dramatic photos on Facebook, there was no damage to the store, according to Stewart.

Stewart was driving through the area after dinner when the flooding hit and rushed to the store to get product off the ground.

"The water was up to my headlights," he recalled. "The water was just beating off the door windows."

He added: "There were a couple of boxes wet, but no product damaged."

There were no immediate reports of flooding at the Stonebridge Hotel or the gas station and TRU Hardware across the street. The TRU Hardware store was closed.

 

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