Update: Residents urged to avoid Newsome Creek banks amid evacuation alert

Fears grow as South Shuswap creek rises and continues to erode its banks

Update 12:00 p.m. April 11.

As two properties on Caen Road in Sorrento have been placed on evacuation alert, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) is urging residents of nearby properties to keep an eye on the creek.

Those living near Newsome Creek are asked to report any significant changes to the creek’s flow or course and to avoid an area five metres from the edge of the creek channel.

The residents on evacuation alert are being told to gather essential items and get ready for a quick departure. It is also recommended that they make preparations to move any disabled people, children, pets and livestock.

Original Story:

As the snow in the mountains begins to melt, apprehension builds for residents along Newsome Creek in Sorrento.

Erosion of the creek’s steep banks caused by changes to its course, which occurred during the extreme freshets of 2017 and 2018, is putting people’s homes at risk.

Jocelyne Gilbert, who lives along the portion of Caen Road where erosion from the creek was most severe, said she is back on evacuation alert due to concerns with the stability of the steep creek bank. Gilbert’s house and her next door neighbour’s are named in a CSRD evacuation alert.

Eleven properties located on Caen Road in Sorrento were on evacuation alert between early May and late October 2018.

“There’s so much anxiety here. Some days I’m bawling my eyes out,” Gilbert said.

With the creek flowing again, erosion is beginning once more. Mark Hemmingson lives along the creek north of the Trans-Canada Highway and is involved in the Newsome Creek Watershed action group who are lobbying to have the creek’s banks fixed.

Read More: Erosion worries plague homeowners along Newsome Creek in Sorrento

Read More: Regional district takes on Newsome Creek work

Hemmingson said a noticeable amount of sediment has recently washed away from the wall of the creek on its west bank near the highway. Several trees have also come down in the area of the creek bank near the highway.

In January, the CSRD Board voted to match the provincial government’s $25,000 contribution to do a study needed before work in the creek could begin. Using the government funding, a work plan is being devised; it is expected to be complete soon.

Read More: CSRD wants immediate Provincial action to fund Newsome Creek study

Read More: Column: B.C. government must take action on Newsome Creek

Hemmingson said the community is eagerly awaiting the results of the work plan to see what work is necessary, and how much it will cost.

“That plan is the one that everything is kind of hinging on; like is it going to cost $2 million or $7 million to fix the creek and what does ‘fix the creek mean?’ That’s our next big step, waiting on this plan,” he said.

Hemmingson said they were told the plan would be completed by April 11.

Gilbert said she is packing items from her house and looking to put them in storage. She fears that if the erosion continues her deck at the back of the house nearest to the creek will be undermined and she will be compelled to evacuate.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A photo from April 2 shows the way Newsome Creek’s winding route has eroded away and undercut the creek’s banks

Just Posted

Peewee Hornets sting Kelowna team for Valley of Champions win

Salmon Arm sees four teams compete in Okanagan event

Driver who killed Shuswap motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Boat sails from trailer to pavement at Sicamous Highway 97A intersection

Alberta resident charged with transporting an insecure load

Collision with hydro pole cuts power to thousands in the Shuswap

Minor injuries to the driver were reported; power was restored by the following morning

Man arrested in Kelowna following Shuswap vehicle thefts, pursuit

Suspect wanted in Alberta allegdly also stole several vehicles near Sicamous over the weekend

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ which made its way to the home

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered Kelowna teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Silverbacks add experienced defence, forward to roster

Trades made with emphasis on adding veteran players to 2019-20 lineup

Most Read