Ruptured water tank floods Invermere employment centre

A ruptured water tank flooded the second-storey offices of the Columbia Valley Employment Centre on January 14.

During the evening of Monday, January 14, a ruptured water tank flooded the second-storey offices of the Columbia Valley Employment Centre (CVEC), damaging some equipment and causing minor damage to the ceiling of the Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop below. The damage was not noticed until Tuesday morning.

“Our office sustained some damage to equipment and it actually closed the public area of our offices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but we’re back up and running [Friday],” CVEC self-help host Jim Jenkinson told The Valley Echo.

Jenkinson said the appointments booked last week at the centre weren’t disrupted, but walk-in clients were required to compromise,

“During the disruption, anyone who had an appointment with any of the staff was seen — we just met with them in a back office where they weren’t discomforted or at any risk,” he said. “It was just the front public area that was affected by the water.”

Aside from having no fax machine or photocopier for three days last week, Jenkinson said the employment centre shut its doors to maintain the office’s relaxed environment.

“We closed because we didn’t want anybody to be in an uncomfortable situation because the dehumidifiers and the fans they put into these places to dry them out are really loud and noisy,” he said.

Though there are a few details left to touch up, Ptarmigan Restoration had the office back to normal within 72 hours. The thrift shop, which is located directly below the Employment Centre, suffered minor damage from the leak.

“The thrift shop didn’t sustain much damage other than the ceiling,” Jenkinson said. “That’ll be replaced.”

Jenkinson said that between 20 and 30 walk-in clients use the centre each day, and were directed to the BC Services office, the local college, and the public library during the centre’s closure.

Should the offices sustain an unexpected closure in the future, Jenkinson reminds job-seekers that employment websites are running 24/7, referring to local resources,,, and also the newspaper.

“People weren’t denied job the opportunity to look for job ads,” he said. “The only thing that they couldn’t do is photocopy and fax.”

Jenkinson said he is grateful for the library, college and local services office for the aid provided during the setback.