Summer storm swamps Stettler as hail and leaves clog catch basins

A flooded 51 Avenue - It took only 10 minutes for the hail storm to transform 51 Avenue and quite a number of other streets in town into small creeks on Thursday

A midsummer rainstorm with wind and hail in Stettler late July 22 swamped several streets, basements, parks and fields.

Catch basins clogged by wind-blown leaves and hail was the biggest problem caused by the storm that drenched the town with up to three-and-a-half inches of rain from about 7 to 8: 30 p.m., said Rob Stoutenberg, town manager for the Town of Stettler.

“It started with the wind which blew leaves off the trees and plugged catch basins that started the problem.”

“A combination of leaves, hail and rain caused a lot of water to collect on the streets all over town,” said Stoutenberg.

But the biggest problem was the pooling at the A-lift station on 54 Street by the school campus of Stettler Elementary School, Stettler Middle School and William E. Hay Composite High School.

So six vacuum trucks were called in to relieve the pressure of the water flows, he said.

Water had also apparently seeped into the basement space of the school complex, although no officials from Clearview School Division were available to confirm the extent of water and any damage.

“Our public works crews did a great job to get things under control by 10:30,” said Stoutenberg.

Besides plugged basins, natural waterways flowed effectively, he said.

“Red Willow Creek functioned very well but the hail and leaves caused the biggest problem,” said Stoutenberg.

Town crews appreciated the assistance of several residents who helped clear leaves and debris from catch basins.

“It’s great to see citizens help us out in a time of emergency,” said Stoutenberg.

Unrelated to the storm, town crews last weekend also discovered an older sewer main had collapsed on 50 Avenue at the corner of 57 Street and work continues.

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