Whitevale residents call for dredging as flood waters in Lumby, B.C. rise again
The Lumby, British Columbia area is facing another rise in water after rain swelled local streams again.
One of the hotspots is the Whitevale area to the south of the city.
For the second time this spring, water was flowing down Whitevale Road. In Monday.
The rural-residential street was closed in one location due to flooding.
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« For me, it’s not that bad, other than it washed out part of my driveway, » said resident Dave Ogasawara, who has to drive through floodwaters to get home.
But opposite Ogasawara, a steady stream of water flowed down the road, down its neighbor’s driveway, and across the yard.
Ogasawara said the neighbor actually decided before this flood season to move out and demolish the house due to many years of flooding and the fact that high water seems to be happening more often.
A student who lives down the road found himself in a boat halfway to school in a flooded alley.
Another neighbour, Keith Altwasser, is worried about the impact of the water on his farm, his hay crop and a family wedding he’s supposed to be hosting this weekend.
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“We cannot use the corrals. It’s hay season right after the wedding. Our field is soaked. We can’t get in there,” Altwasser said.
The flooding problem in the Whitevale area is caused by a nearby stream which has been steadily overflowing its banks this spring.
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While there is local disagreement over whether the creek should be called Harris Creek or Bessette Creek, Altwasser and Ogasawara agree on the solution to keep it from flooding their properties: allow the creek to be dredged and build the banks.
« At the time it was always cleaned and there were no problems, » Altwasser said.
“We have to dredge the creek. If fishing and the environment were in the game, you wouldn’t be doing this interview.
Several streams meander through Lumby, so Whitevale Road is just one of the flood points.
The mayor of the village would also like more mitigation work to be done to prevent future damage.
« There could be real double wins or positives, » Mayor Kevin Acton said.
“We could rebuild fish habitat and kind of provide [flood] protection at the same time. The province and the federal government have the ability to do that. We just have to convince them that this is the place to do it.
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Acton said a local haulage contractor carried out work to remove materials from Creighton Creek to protect infrastructure.
For now, although the water appears to be receding again, Acton is telling residents to stay prepared.
« Don’t start taking things apart just yet. We are certainly not off the hook. There are still chances of flooding with a few rainy days ahead and hopefully after that that will be it,” Acton said.
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