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  • Howe Sound Brewing

King Tide - The Howe Sound Flooding

King Tide, days of heavy rain and snowmelt flooded Squamish's downtown, and the basement of the brewery on December 27, 2022.

Photo via Squamish Chief & John Buchanan

It was a (somewhat) white Christmas with a big snowfall on December 24th, but then was followed by days of rain starting on Christmas Day and didn't let up until the afternoon of Tuesday, December 27th. Most of us were back at the office for the first day after the holidays on Tuesday, December 27th, trying to get back into the swing of things our power went out at 9:30am. Next thing we know we can hear water rushing into the basement of the brewery from our shipping/receiving bay. By 10:15am there was 3ft of water covering the basement. King Tide at 5.02m had come through the Howe Sound (sea), and quite literally went through Howe Sound (brewing) as well.

Our team rallied together to evacuate hotel guests who were staying with us at the Inn. The Squamish Fire Department made sure we were safe with the majority of our electrical under water, then they very kindly started helping us pump water out of our loading bay. We rushed around to get another 2 pumps on site and continuously ran water pumps until the morning of Thursday, December 29th. All while being on 24hr fire watch as we were still at risk with our electrical potentially damaged and having no active alarm systems. Hotel/Management team got all the guests that were staying with us relocated into nearby hotels and contacted all guests with current and future reservations with alternative travel plans.

Brewery/Sales team went over to Brennan Park and filled up over 100+ sandbags to barricade the loading bay, another King Tide and heavy rainfall was in the forecast for the days following the initial one. Kitchen team had to empty their fridges and freezers as the building's power was out and temperatures were no longer stabilized. But, were able to donate plenty of food to Under One Roof.

By 12:30pm Thursday, December 29th we got our power back on to the building. We could now assess the damages and start the cleanup. Luckily, our main electrical system was fine! And even luckier, WE SAVED THE BEER.

The waterline was prominent on the boxed flats we had stored in our basement, which were luckily stored on raised pallets so it was easy to see what we had lost and what we could keep. The kegs being completely sealed got a clean and disinfect.

We got beer out the door and into customers hands by the next day, Friday, December 30th.

Around the clock we worked to clean each floor of the building, while cleaning is still underway we were able to welcome back hotel guests by 4pm on Friday, December 30th. Reservations onwards are all confirmed and we are excited to welcome you back!

Brewpub re-opened at 5pm on New Year's Eve, the kitchen team worked tirelessly to clean, re-stock and prepare to soft open with a limited menu. Full menu and regular hours are to come first week of January 2023.

We would like to thank all who reached out with kind messages, and to our guests and customers for being compassionate and understanding during a stressful time.

Please follow us on social to be the first to know about 2023 beer releases, events & more.

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