Both the 2017 and 2018 spring freshets caused significant erosion to the banks in the reaches of the creek below the Trans-Canada Highway in Sorrento, affecting several properties along Caen Road (Submitted)

CSRD wants immediate Provincial action to fund Newsome Creek study

Erosion along the creek is causing hazardous situation for residents

Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Directors are sending an urgent letter to the province for it to fund needed studies and all mitigation works to protect the Newsome Creek stream banks, which are causing a hazardous situation for residents along Caen Road in Sorrento.

CSRD Directors voted unanimously in favour of sending the letters, noting the Water Act clearly defines stream activity as a provincial government responsibility, meaning the province should be funding the appropriate works to protect the safety of residents and the security of the properties at risk from the stream erosion.

Both the 2017 and 2018 spring freshets caused significant erosion to the banks in the reaches of the creek below the Trans-Canada Highway in Sorrento, affecting several properties along Caen Road. Stream bank undercutting and slope failures in 2018 resulted in the CSRD’s Shuswap Emergency Program receiving funding from Emergency Management BC to conduct an assessment of the erosion and risk to people and property

Further stream bank erosion continues to be very likely, especially in spring 2019 when high stream flows are anticipated.

Calling the situation an impending disaster, Electoral Area C Director Paul Demenok says the Province needs to take immediate emergency action to protect residents and property from the impact of the water which is undercutting the banks of Newsome Creek and destabilizing the area.

In addition to the letter to both the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Solicitor General, Demenok said the CSRD has requested meetings with government officials in Victoria to address the situation. An application for funds from Emergency Management BC is also in progress.

Related:Erosion worries plague homeowners along Newsome Creek in Sorrento

Demenok noted that while 11 properties had to be placed under Evacuation Alert, the issues affect many more Sorrento residents. He said roadways have been washed out by flooding, debris from the creek is damaging beaches and Boil Water Notices have been issued in the area due to the high levels of sediment being deposited from the creek, which is located near the community’s Markwart Water Intake.

The province has indicated they believe the issues falls into the jurisdiction of the CSRD, as private land surrounds Newsome Creek. The CSRD, however, continues to disagree with this interpretation, as it is the watercourse causing the issues with slope stability.

“The water in the creek belongs to the Province. It is the water that is doing damage to the property… Any work we do in the creek has to be approved by the province. Doesn’t that suggest they have responsibility,” says Demenok.

Residents of the area have banded together to form the Newsome Creek Watershed Action Group and a number of its members attended the November 15, 2018 Board meeting to ask for continued support from the Board.

“The problem is not yours. It belongs to the Province,” said Norm Martin, a spokesperson for the group. “We appreciate your continued support and effort to get attention to this situation. We can’t wait until spring. We can’t wait for another study.”

Martin stressed the urgency of the situation for the residents.

“We could lose homes. People could lose their places of business. We could even lose lives. If that bank slides in the middle of the night, people haven’t got a hope.”

Salmon Arm Municipal Director Kevin Flynn says the CSRD Board should do whatever it can to push the province for action.

“It is inexcusable the province has not given this more attention… The more noise we make on this, the better.”


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Preserving Secwepemc culture, history through storytelling

Neskonlith councillor Louis Thomas to share his craft at Word on the Lake

Support for Penticton shooting victim

A GoFundMe has been started for one of the four people killed April 15

Targeted: Shuswap society finds pets hurt, killed in domestic abuse cases

SPCA, SAFE Society working together to provide shelter for dogs, cats of women fleeing abuse

Sicamous schools to receive cooling/heating upgrades

School District #83 capital budget bylaw includes more than $1.2 million for projects

FOODIE FRIDAY: Brodo Kitchen makes special poutine

Brodo Kitchen features homemade comfort food and a spin on Gnocchi, transformed into poutine

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Vernon-raised BC Was Awesome producer returns home for filming of episode

The topic of this Vernon-featured episode has not yet been revealed.

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Vernon choir marks 40 years of making music

Order of Canada recipient directs finale

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Most Read