By Steve Hubrecht
[email protected]

The district of Invermere is asking local residents to report any damage to their property in the wake of a furious freak hailstorm that hammered the community earlier this month.

The hailstorm thundered down on Invermere early in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 2, following nearly a week straight of temperatures hovering around the 40 degrees Celsius mark. Hailstones the size of large cherry tomatoes pounding down at full velocity for far longer than most hailstorms last, perhaps 20 minutes or more. The sheer volume of hail was astounding, as it mercilessly battered local gardens and farmers’ crops, created a temporary river running down 7th Avenue (Invermere’s main street), sent shards of shingles flying off roofs, pelted branches and leaves right off trees, dented and dinged a great many vehicles, caused a fair bit of localized flooding and minor erosion, and literally covered backyards in a blanket of white that resembled snow more than hail (to such a degree that even 24 hours later, a few foot-high drifts of accumulated hail still persisted in shady parts of some backyards).

It was a dramatic climatic show, to be sure, but one that wreaked havoc in ways minor and not-so minor.

To ascertain the extent of damage and hopefully help fix some of it, the district is asking local residents to fill out and submit damage reports detailing what happened at their properties during the storm. The plan is to use these reports to apply to the provincial government for emergency relief funding.

“Certainly, this storm came seemingly out of nowhere. It’s one of those events you don’t see too often,” Invermere mayor Al Miller told the Pioneer, adding he’s heard plenty of residents talk about the hailstorm, and all said they’d never seen anything like it.

“There’s been damage done. A lot of people experienced flooding,” said Miller. “Our systems couldn’t handle the sheer volume of hail coming down and it made a mess. It came down for quite a sustained time period. And the volume was full tilt that whole time. Who would’ve ever thought you’d see a river flowing down 7th Avenue?”

Miller outlined there’s no guarantee the district’s funding application will be successful, but it is worth a shot.

“We need to apply, we need to try to do what we can,” he said.

Miller first noticed the storm while driving back into town from Canal Flats.

“There’d been hardly much more than a smattering of rain as I went up past Fairmont and Windermere. But as soon as I hit Invermere, there it was and suddenly the full force of Mother Nature was upon us,” he said.

The report requires residents to write a description of the damage, attached between one and five photos showing the damage, outline actions taken to date, and explain what insurance coverage they have or do not have for the damage.

The deadline to submit a report is Friday, July 16. The reports can be found online at

For further information, contact the district of Invermere municipal office at 250-342-9281.