Home > Environment > Flood cleanup begins on Vancouver Island after heavy rains

Flood cleanup begins on Vancouver Island after heavy rains


Contour of Vancouver Island with Regional Dist...

Vancouver Island

Story Tools

By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver SunSeptember 27, 2010
Photo of the flood of Tsawataineuk, near Kingcome. The big house pictured here is higher up the hill than some of houses

Photo of the flood of Tsawataineuk, near Kingcome. The big house pictured here is higher up the hill than some of houses

Photograph by: L Hek’wa Puglas, Courtesy Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Related: Flood-ravaged north Island, central coast brace for another deluge

– – –

Crews began assessing the damage Sunday on the northern half of Vancouver Island after floods damaged homes, knocked out power and roads and caused evacuations.

Up to 70 millimetres of rain on Saturday flooded homes and washed out roads in Port Hardy, caused mudslides in Port Alice and forced residents from an isolated community on the mainland to be taken out by helicopter after water rushed into their homes.

Mayors in Port Hardy and Port Alice declared temporary states of emergency, but both have since been lifted.

About 75 of the 100 residents of the Tsawataineuk First Nation were airlifted Saturday evening to Alert Bay, where residents had offered people places to stay, said Bob Chamberlin, speaking on behalf of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council.

He said there is some flooding every year in Tsawataineuk, located on the Kingcome Inlet about 290 kilometres northwest of Vancouver, but this year, the water reached residents’ homes.

“This is a special one. Every house is built nine feet above the ground. But the water still got up into the homes. Stairs were ripped off the front of 17 homes,” he said.

The isolated location is going to be a “logistical nightmare” for the cleanup process, he said, adding that septic tanks were damaged and sewage in the water was seeping into about 20 houses.

Chamberlin said the residents could be out of their homes for up to two months.

Mud and debris about 4.5 metres deep and 30 metres wide slid down Rumble Mountain and blocked Marine Drive, the main road in Port Alice.

The Ministry of Environment will assess safety before efforts to clean up the debris begin.

Also Saturday, 55 workers trapped at the Neucel pulp mill in Port Alice were taken out by boat. The mill is expected to be without power for up to a week.

Port Hardy Mayor Bev Parnham said Sunday that damage to homes was more extensive that she had anticipated.

“Every neighbourhood was affected. Some people had rivers going through their crawl space, while others had basements or main floors washed out, some decks buckled. It was incredible — an amazing torrent of water like we’ve never seen here before.”

Several roads were closed after washouts, but most have since reopened. Byng Road between Highway 19 and Fort Rupert Road remained closed Sunday because of infrastructure damage.

Parnham said her community will be looking to the provincial government for some aid to help people rebuild.

There were no reports of any injuries because of the flooding.

ticrawford@vancouversun

With a file from Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun

– – –

Video: Flooding in Kingcome Inlet

The chief of the Kwicksutaineuk sent The Vancouver Sun a link to this video that shows some of the flooding to hit this remote B.C. coastal community:

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Photo of the flood of Tsawataineuk, near Kingcome. The big house pictured here is higher up the hill than some of houses

Photo of the flood of Tsawataineuk, near Kingcome. The big house pictured here is higher up the hill than some of houses

Photograph by: L Hek’wa Puglas, Courtesy Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Photo of the flood of Tsawataineuk, near Kingcome. The big house pictured here is higher up the hill than some of houses
Photo of the Port Hardy flooding.
Photo of the Port Alice Mudslide.
Photo of the Port Alice Mudslide.
Photo of the Port Alice Mudslide.
Photo of the Port Hardy flooding.
Photo of the Port Hardy flooding.
Port Hardy is in a local state of emergency after heavy rain and winds caused flooding.
Port Hardy is in a local state of emergency after heavy rain and winds caused flooding.
Port Hardy is in a local state of emergency after heavy rain and winds caused flooding.

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

Advertisements
Categories: Environment Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: