Premier Clark tours Dawson Creek flood damage
B.C. Premier Christy Clark visited Dawson Creek days after a local state of emergency was declared in the flooded Peace region town.
“When I was up in the Peace a month ago, the place was on fire. And now it’s underwater,” Clark said.
Wildfires devastated Fort McMurray in May and the region was desperate for rain. On Wednesday June 15 nearly 90 millimeters of rain fell in Dawson Creek, causing damage to more than 400 properties and dividing the city by water.
“Our community was cut in half so emergency services were impacted. Our hospital on one side of the community and residents on the other,” said Dawson Creek mayor Dale Bumstead.
Sharalee Walker is one of the city’s approximately 12,000 residents and has lived in the area for three years. She noticed the water rising from about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
“My son woke me up at 9:30 and said ‘It’s happening’,” she said. “I come running out cause I was still half asleep. I looked outside and there was already water like, way past the road and it was up high already and it was just coming from the back and from the side. Yeah, it was real scary.”
An hour away in Chetwynd, Highway 97 was washed out and repairs will likely take weeks.
The Peace region last rebuilt from significant flooding in 2011 but the damage was much worse in this latest case. Fortunately no injuries were reported.
“Floods happen,” said Clark. “But not floods like this one.”
The province encourages residents impacted by the flooding to apply for government assistance. Town hall meetings in Dawson Creek and Chetwynd will teach for residents how to apply for disaster financial assistance.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Sarah MacDonald