By Jamie Rieger
Bow Island mayor Gordon Reynolds says he is very proud of how his community pulled together during the recent snowstorm that saw heavy snowfall and high winds that led to widespread power outages and the highway being closed down.
“We didn’t declare a state of emergency, but he had set up a place for people to warm up. For some, it ended up being an overnight stay,” said Reynolds.
After the students were sent home from school at Senator Gershaw, that became the place where people could go to ride out the storm.
“The community is fantastic and our handling of it was excellent,” he said. “The staff at Senator Gershaw did not hesitate. They were very hospitable to the people staying there and some of the staff could not get home themselves. They were great hosts and I’m proud of them.”
Despite Highway Three being closed, there was a manpower issue near Medicine Hat, so people were still trying to travel and got stopped at Bow Island.
“As a result, we kept getting people.”
Reynolds said a tour bus with approximately 30 passengers was among those who sought refuge at Senator Gershaw School for the night.
“The school staff looked after the people. They fed them, had blankets, had cots and gym mats. People were relatively comfortable,” said Reynolds.
Alan Beck, from Lewiston, Montana was on his way to Seven Persons when the highway closed and he was forced to pull into Bow Island to wait out the storm.
“From Warner to here, the roads just kept getting worse. It was when I passed through Grassy Lake, they said on the radio that the road was closing,” said Beck. “I was raised on this kind of stuff, but I am glad to be safe in Bow Island.”
Reynolds also commended the Town staff for the work they did during the storm.
“The town staff did a great job keeping our critical infrastructure working during the power outage. We had no issues with water shortages or sewer back-ups.”
Some electrical customers were without power in Bow Island for more than 24 hours.