Falkland flood waters rise well above norm

Falkland residents are used to flooding but this year has been a disaster

Flooding isn’t anything new in Falkland, where certain fields are commonly saturated in the spring. But this year’s situation has risen well above the norm.

“Roads are washed out, people’s driveways, you name it,” said Rene Talbot, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District director for Area D (including Silver Creek/Salmon Valley, Falkland, Ranchero and Deep Creek). “And that’s just my area, it’s a disaster everywhere.”

Sections of both Pillar Lake and Silver Creek roads are both reduced to single lane due to washouts, CN had to put substantial work into a track on Salmon River Bench and the track over Salmon River next to Highway 97 just out side of Falkland is sitting dangerously close to the water.

“If it comes up a little more (the railroad tracks) will be under water,” said Talbot.

That section of the river routinely floods in the spring, but this year has been an exception.

“The farmers fields out towards Westwold flood every year but this year it’s a lot earlier and higher.”

To add to the situation, snowfall was reported in recent days on the mountain tops. Therefore it will be a while yet before the flood waters recede.

“Three to four weeks before we’re out of it,” said Talbot.

“It’s sort of getting back to normal but it all depends on the weather.”

The Weather Network is calling for the possibility of more snow Tuesday and Wednesday in Falkland, before the sun comes out for the Falkland Stampede weekend. While reduced precipitation is welcome, too high of temperatures could also pose a problem, further melting snowpacks.

Meanwhile residents aren’t seeing much help for flood-damaged lands.

“Everybody’s sort of dealing with it on their own,” said Talbot, as government agency assistance is limited.