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Maple Ridge braces for stormy weather

Emergency crews are always busy when a big storm hits. - TIMES files
Emergency crews are always busy when a big storm hits.
— image credit: TIMES files

Bracing for a strong storm to hit the South Coast this week, the City of Maple Ridge have issued some tips and advice for local residents.

Environment Canada posted a storm advisory, calling for heavy rains and strong winds in the next few days.

With all severe storms, emergency responders and utility crews will be working hard to provide service.

To ensure resources are used appropriately, only call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies.

For non-emergency matters, call 604-463-5880.

In the meantime, the Maple Ridge fire department offers the following tips.

Residents of Maple Ridge can prepare for these storms and associated power outages with a few simple steps:

•  Have cellphones charged

•  Ensure flashlights have batteries installed

• Ensure adequate food and water supplies

• Use candles with care

• If generators are used, ensure they are located outside and away from windows and doors

• Move any loose items from yards and secure properly

• Stay off the roads and drive only when absolutely required

Walter Oleschak, the City's superintendent of roads and fleet, was interviewed by a local TV station on Tuesday evening about things that people can do to ensure that their property is safe.

He offered this advice: "You need to make sure that your gutters are clear so the water can get into the storm water system. The most common cause of flooding in homes comes from water pouring around your foundation from gutters clogged with debris," he said.d

"Please refrain from blowing leaves and debris onto the road and make sure that the catch basins and storm sewers are clear around your home. Be proactive in protecting the area around your home to reduce the chance of localized flooding," Oleschak added.

If there is a blockage of a storm sewer or culvert, he asked that residents "please report it to the operations centre by calling 604-463-9581, at any time of day or night.

Operations crews are standing by to work with first responders to deal with any impacts of the storm system forecast to hit the community.

The fire department and City operations crews note that by taking a few simple precautions we can help alleviate some of the risks associated with severe storms and keep our community safe.

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