Sicamous faces flood cleanup, welcomes back tourists
Published Saturday, June 30, 2012 8:12PM PDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 30, 2012 8:14PM PDT
A week after flash floods turned the tourist community of Sicamous B.C. into a disaster zone, locals are eager to get their businesses running again so they can welcome back visitors.
One of the community's largest attractions, Waterway Houseboats, literally became a waterway after it was overcome by heaving flooding from Sicamous Creek. On Saturday, cars, boats, buildings and even a transport truck remained buried in the debris.
Although the job of pulling out the cars and redirecting the creek back into its original channel is huge, the owners of Waterway Houseboats think they can have themselves up and running by July 12.
"Our docks are fine, our boats are fine. It’s the services, it's the entrances, it's the parking. The septic, the gas, the propane, all that sort of thing, that's the issue,” Neil Millar of Waterway Houseboats said.
As one of the two largest houseboat rental companies in Sicamous, a lot is riding on putting it back into business.
"All the people that come in to go houseboating, they shop for groceries, they go to the restaurants, they get gas. So we got to get open. It's not just for us; it's for everybody,” Millar added.
Sicamous Mayor Darrel Trouten is also keen on tourists returning.
“Come back to Sicamous, that's the message,” he said. "There is some devastated areas, but you know what? In general most of the businesses are open in Sicamous."
Businesses that depend on visitors are hoping that message gets through.
“It's supposed to be a really hot July and August, so we're really hoping for the best. They've opened all the boat launches. We're just trying to do business as usual in town still here," said Mike Helfrick of Red’s Rentals.
Highway 97A in the Shuswap is expected to reopen Sunday.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Kent Molgat