Natural Resources


Date: July 30, 2008

Location: Gambo





Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: CBC web site, the Telegram

A intense rainfall event (60-70 mm in 9 hours) caused flash flooding in the town of Gambo.The rain fell on a Wednesday evening and most of the flood damage occured overnight. some homes had a foot of water in them, and there was extensive damage to roads and driveways, particualrly along JR Smallwood Boulevard. Between 30 and 40 people were forced to leave their homes, and there was signifcant damage to vehicles and houses. The town's mayor estimated damage in the millinos of dollars. CBC, July 31 2008

A torrential downpour caused a state of emergency in Gambo, with rescue officials using canoes and heavy equipment to rescue families.

Gambo Mayor Lloyd Noseworthy said the community was overwhelmed during the supper hour on Wednesday night, when flood waters forced some residents in the town of about 2,000 out of their homes. "Quite a few families had to be moved," Noseworthy told CBC News on Thursday.

"The water was roaring, like you would hear Niagara Falls roaring," said Noseworthy, describing how he observed water surge into the town from the Trans-Canada Highway, which runs along a hill high above the town.

"It was terrible. The sound was just frightening," said Noseworthy, who claimed that as much as 1.5 metres of water had accumulated on some streets at certain points.

Rescuers used canoes, small boats and construction equipment to rescue residents who were stuck in homes suddenly overwhelmed by water.

Derm Kearney, a meteorologist with the Environment Canada weather office in Gander, said an official rainfall count in Gambo is not yet known, but it was intense.

He said radar imaging showed that at least 60 millimetres of rain fell in a period lasting more than an hour. "It came down in short order," Kearney said Thursday. "They had quite a bit of rain [and] this was continuous."

Much of the water had receded from the town Thursday morning, although Noseworthy said the community is still facing serious obstacles. Some roads are impassable, and damage appears to be significant in some areas.

Noseworthy said he estimated that damages will run in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Kearney said the Gander area, about 50 kilometres west of Gambo, endured more than eight hours of stormy weather that included lightning and thunder.

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