More than 300 attendees packed White Rock Community Centre on July 7

LETTERS: Long wait to hear disaster plan

Editor:

Citizens were asked to a town-hall meeting in 2014 to learn about the dangers of freight trains rumbling with dangerous goods

Editor:

The citizens of White Rock were asked to attend a town-hall meeting in July 2014 to learn about the dangers of freight trains rumbling along the waterfront with dangerous goods (Mayor warns of federal indifference to rail fears, July 10, 2014).

A representative of BNSF, a member of the city’s rail committee and a lawyer, formerly with Transport Canada, were in attendance. Some 200 plus showed up. They heard about the Lac-Mégantic tragedy – fires caused by exploding tank cars, the very short time span to evacuate areas affected by spilled chlorine and other deadly chemicals, all of which are transported through White Rock every day and night.

We were advised that emergency plans were worked on by the various departments of the city.

A month later, I followed up with council enquiring on the status of emergency procedures.

In a reply, I was advised that train manifests – a complete listing of the contents of every car in a 135-car train – are “available to fire crews when and if required.”

My question was, if a derailment occurs at 2 a.m., does the city have to send an email or call the BNSF dispatcher for the train’s manifest, as the manifest also includes the position of the cars enabling first responders to determine if cars next to a tank car on fire could blow up a car with deadly chemicals.

I asked if the city has sirens to warn its 19,000 residents of an emergency.

The answer was no, but the city would “use direct contact by staff, media and social media to provide information on incidents or evacuations.”

I have no idea how many of the 19,000 people living here have TV and/or radio and/or computers on 24 hours per day.

My followup with the city resulted in a response stating that they had nothing to add to the answers I received earlier. That is an insult to human intelligence!

I was in Lac-Mégantic the last time a few months ago. The town and its people will never be the same; death and destruction rolled right into the town centre without any warning.

White Rock council must establish emergency procedures and make them public now. One year should have been sufficient time to implement them.

Wolfgang Schmitz, White Rock

 

 

Just Posted

South Surrey mom adds festive touch to late son’s Spirit Garden tree

Christmas twinkle adds ‘a little bit of joy at a difficult time’

The ‘Upside Down’ is coming to Surrey with ‘One Man Stranger Things’ parody

Charles Ross one-man act based on first two seasons of hit Netflix show

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

City of Surrey says pension benefits ‘guaranteed’ for police recruits

A National Police Federation representative says it may not be enough incentive

Surrey-area teens will have a ball at Christmas, thanks to collection effort

Realty company’s Bring on the Balls campaign now in its third year

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read

l -->