Flood waters causing destruction in Silver Creek

Some residents say they have never seen the water levels so high.

Silver Creek residents have been prepping for high water in light of last year’s flooding, but what’s happening in some areas is going way beyond expectations. Some people haven’t seen this kind of flooding for 50 years.

Maria Otting and Thomas Koppel, who live in the 500 block of Salmon River Road, have been sandbagging each night till 9 o’clock, adding 1,000 bags each day to a large berm between their property and the Salmon River. They’ve also been pumping water out of their field. They wanted to make sure they wouldn’t have to deal with flooding like they did last year.

But sometime between midnight and 1:30 Thursday morning, their hopes were drowned when the river pushed its way through the berm and onto their field and into their house – leaving a foot of water and sewage in their basement.

Alice and Gary Hucul next door experienced the same destruction. Despite having been sandbagging for three weeks and being prepared for much higher-than-usual water levels, their efforts ended in defeat.

The groundwater had started rising the Friday before, so they had started pumping. But things were manageable. When they went to bed Wednesday night, there was about six inches of water behind the berm. But when they got up at 2:30 a.m. Thursday to put more gas in the pumps, the water levels were a shock – two feet of water in the previously dry basement and three feet in the yard.

Alice mentions that a family member has been in the area for 50 years and has never seen anything like this.

Related: Flood water rise in Falkland

Barb Puetz lives in the 700 block of Salmon River Road with her spouse Gene – who has a fish ladder and has been counting salmon on the Salmon River for 30 years. They started pumping ground water out of their basement at the end of March, yet they haven’t escaped. Their house is OK, but their barns are flooded. She, too, says her family members say this hasn’t happened for more than 50 years.

Rhiannon Best, who lives in the 1400 block of Salmon River Road, says there was a little bit of water by the shop on her family’s property on Wednesday morning, but they’d sandbagged and felt ready. When she came home from work, however, the shop, pens, chicken coops and hay storage were all under water. She hadn’t had time to move the hay, but thought she would be able to do it Thursday night. That wasn’t to be. So far her house is safe.

Looking on the bright side, Best says maybe her kids will be able to go kayaking on the property.

Related: Salmon River upgraded to flood warning status

Norman Pierce lives on Johnson Road, off Salmon River Road, where a family was evacuated last weekend when their house flooded. Pierce says he’s lived on the road for 43 years and has never seen the water this high.

Back in town, Brad DeMille of DeMille’s Farm Market says he doesn’t remember the levels this high either. As he talks, he motions to the large pool that has filled a good portion of his parking lot. With his characteristic humour, he’s put up a “low wake” sign and suggests people come in, get their tires cleaned for free and buy some excellent fresh asparagus.

Not far from his business, the corner of 10th Avenue SW, near where it leaves the Trans-Canada Highway, has flooded. Signs of ‘flood warning’ give motorists notice they should slow down.

Related: Evacuation Orders issued for 2,500 in B.C.’s Kootenay-Boundary region

On Thursday, water was still licking at the underside of the Salmon River Bridge, but a crew is staked there round the clock to keep an eye on it. Thursday morning an excavator was brought in to remove a log that had jammed under the bridge, as it could have created a build-up of debris underneath and prevented the water from flowing freely. The highway was closed for about half an hour.

The BC River Forecast Centre has warned that warmer temperatures over the weekend could melt the larger-than-normal snowpack, bringing even higher water levels.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Active burn pile prompts firefighter response in Salmon Arm

Reports of residential fire, thick smoke was from burning construction material

Rock slide forces rural Keremeos residents to leave their homes

Witness describes boulders bigger than her car

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: goodbye sun, hello rain

Environement Canada forcasts clouds and rain for the weekend and beyond

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Most Read