Courtenay mayor Bob Wells says extreme weather adaptation is needed after a hailstorm impacted his family’s travels.
Wells and his family are safe after a large and intense hailstorm passed over them while travelling outside Red Deer, Alberta. Wells describes the storm as beginning with small hail, before becoming much larger.
“It really wasn’t until it got up to golf ball size where it started cracking the windshield, and as soon as the windshield cracked I pulled over,” said Wells. “After about four or five hailstones cracked it in a row, I told everybody to wrap themselves in blankets and protect [themselves] from glass.”
He said the storm lasted for around 30 minutes. The van Wells, his three kids and his mother were driving, had the windows along with the sunroof smashed and large dents in the bodywork afterwards.
He adds first responders including RCMP, ambulance and fire were on the scene making sure no one was severely injured.
Following the ordeal, Wells says it showed the impact of extreme weather events. With the amount of extreme weather seen over the last few years, he says community preparation will be key in the Comox Valley and other areas.
“Adaptation is clear. We’ve gone past that tipping point where extreme weather events are becoming that much more frequent, that much more violent,” said Wells. “Being as prepared as possible for it, working with provincial and federal governments to make sure we have the systems in place to deal with these things.”
He adds the provincial and federal governments have been actively talking with mayors across the province to ensure communities are as prepared as possible.
Wells thanks the outpouring of support from people at the site and the community around the situation as their journey continues.