By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Picture Butte’s Fire Chief, Frank West, said in terms of public spaces, “Cleanup of streets, sidewalks, Town of Picture Butte facilities, and public property has been underway since Monday afternoon,” and was anticipated to be complete by the end of last week.
However, West also noted, “Complete recovery from this storm event will most likely take several months to complete. Private property damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is extensive and widespread throughout Picture Butte.”
While these kinds of extreme weather events are not atypical for the region, especially during the summer months, West noted, “this is the most significant summer storm event that Picture Butte has experienced since at least 2013, which smaller hail storms impacting the Town in recent years. Unfortunately, these types of events are becoming more common and we as a community must continue to prepare for future events.”
Jeremy Wickson, director of Public Operations for Lethbridge County, said, “The time is too soon to have an estimate of damages that may have been sustained, but there is extensive property damage to private owners throughout the region,” and added damage assessments, “will not be known for months, if not years.”
The clean-up process will be ongoing over the next few months. Wickson added, “The County, once yards have been relatively cleaned up, will hire a street sweeper for certain hard surface roadways if debris is heavy,” as of July 20, tree branches and foliage remained on some roadways, but, nothing had been identified to be impeding the driving surface of any County roadways. He added, “maintenance is ongoing for grading and gravelling activities.”
Wickson said, “Infrastructure damage concerns revolved around our potable water supply distribution locations first,” but confirmed, “none have had any effects outside of superficial damage to the outside of the building.” Within the town boundaries of Picture Butte, “there was no disruption to critical Town of Picture Butte infrastructure, but as with most properties in Picture Butte our facilities are being assessed for damage caused by the storm,” said West.
“This type of damage is insurable and as such will take time for each individual to implement the claims process and see their property restored. We encourage everyone to reach out to their insurance company if they have not already done so.”