Sturgeon County residents who heard explosions reverberating across the landscape last week were hearing a disposal not a demolition.
Firefighters received a host of calls early Friday morning after residents heard a string of explosions in the area around Villeneuve and feared the worst. The calls came all the way from Northridge in St. Albert.
Staff Sgt. Mac Richards said the RCMP’s bomb disposal team was destroying a collection of old ammunition on a property they have used before, which is where all the explosions were coming from. Richards said the explosions have been a fairly regular occurrence on the property over the last decade.
Unfortunately there is no other way to deal with the problem.
“There is really no way to get rid of old ammunition other than destroying it.”
Sturgeon County was flooded with phone calls, both to the fire department and to the county’s main office. While the Morinville RCMP detachment was aware the explosions were taking place, Sturgeon County was not.
County spokesperson Calli Stromner said the county was overwhelmed by the calls.
“We received many calls from concerned residents who feared the apocalypse was under way.”
Stromner said the county was very disappointed they were not informed.
“They didn’t advise us in any way and they didn’t have a permit for this while a fire ban was on.”
Richards said there are always going to be challenges with communication and the RCMP will try to make sure the county is informed the next time a disposal takes place.
“Better communication is always good.”