Fire Fighting in Canada

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Hurricane Igor drenches Newfoundland peninsula

Sept. 21, 2010, St. John's - Hurricane Igor caused widespread damage across an eastern swath of Newfoundland on Tuesday as heavy rains flooded communities, washed out roads and stranded some residents in their homes.

September 21, 2010
By The Canadian Press

At least three towns, Clarenville, Marystown and Terrenceville, declared states of emergency because of localized flooding that made roads impassable.

Marystown Mayor Sam Synard said the storm was overwhelming his community's capacity to cope.

“We've never seen such a violent storm before,” he said from his office, where he spent the night monitoring the storm's arrival.

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“We've had over 200 millimetres of rain in the past 20 hours and very few, if any communities in the country, could deal with that amount of rainfall. … We've lost sections of our main roads, completely washed out to sea.”

Keith Rodway, a member of Clarenville town council, said parts of his town had to be evacuated.

“We've pretty much shut down the entire town,” Rodway said.

“We've moved at least 50 families away from an area below a dam that's a reservoir for our fish plant.”

Rodway said other families in the town of about 5,300 were also being taken to a couple of schools for fear they'd be isolated by road washouts.

RCMP said roads throughout the Burin Peninsula have been washed out or submerged and the Rattling Brook Bridge on Route 210 was damaged, cutting off the only link to the Trans-Canada Highway.

“We can't get to the bridge. We're hearing it has certainly deteriorated enough that it's impassable,” Sgt. Wayne Edgecombe said.

“Whether it's collapsed or it's impassable, it doesn't really make any difference — we can't get across it.”

About 20,000 people live on the Burin Peninsula.

Dennis Shea of the province's Emergency and Fire Services office said several communities had been cut off by high water and in some cases boats were used to rescue people from their own homes.

“The amount of rain in such short time has overwhelmed and is in excess of most of the infrastructure that exists,” said Dennis Shea, manager of the Emergency and Fire Services office.

Chris Fogarty of the Canadian Hurricane Centre said the storm would rapidly intensify as it moved toward the Avalon Peninsula, with wind gusts that could reach 130 km/h.

There have been no reports of injuries or fatalities.