Worst flooding in 15 years hits Lake Cowichan

Many residents of Lake Cowichan are still in clean-up mode after the heavy rain and windstorm that struck the town, and the whole Cowichan Valley, over the weekend.

Lake Cowichan Mayor Rod Peters said it’s the worst flooding he has seen in the area in about 15 years, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District called a state of emergency in the region on Friday evening as water levels rose across the Valley.

“It was pretty bad,” Peters said Monday morning.

“The area around Sahtlam Avenue, the pickleball courts, Riverside Road and Saywell Park were all flooded. Some of the roads in the area were under six to eight inches of water, but they were still passable.”

RELATED STORY: EVACUATIONS, ROAD CLOSURES AND PLENTY OF CLEANUP AFTER B.C. FLOODING, LANDSLIDES

Peters said he has no hard numbers at this time, but he expects approximately 50 homes and businesses in and around the town were flooded during the storm.

“I expect it may take some time to clean up a number of the buildings, but I don’t believe there was any real serious damage,” he said.

“There was a report of some oil seepage from one of the flooded homes near the Credit Union.”

Peters said the water had receded by Monday morning, and Lake Cowichan was operating as normal, but the town’s workers also have a lot of work to do clearing up the mess that was left behind.

“There’s a lot of debris on the streets,” he said.

“It looks like a tide line in the middle of town.”

A Pineapple Express rain and windstorm hit the Cowichan Valley hard beginning on Jan. 31 into the early morning hours of Feb. 1, forcing an evacuation of 23 people in the Crofton area due to flooding, and the closure of a number of roads, including the Trans-Canada Highway between Nanaimo and Duncan, as well as the Pacific Marine Circle Route from Cowichan Lake to Sooke, and Cowichan Bay Road.

RELATED STORY: CREWS HELP EVACUATE RESIDENTS SOUTH OF NANAIMO DUE TO FLOODING

The CVRD declared a state of emergency Friday evening, that was still in effect Monday, due to the closures and the swell of rivers and lakes in the district that flooded people’s homes and yards and closed parks.

The CVRD’s statement on its website on Monday morning said the immediate threat has passed and residents may now return to their homes, but residents should review the BC provincial Guide to Disaster Recovery before they head inside to check out the flood damage.

The CVRD also opened a resiliency centre at the Cowichan Community Centre on James Street in Duncan, to provide information and resources to those affected by flooding on Monday and Tuesday.

This could include building assessment, counselling, information on cleanup, health support and answering potential questions around insurance.

The resiliency centre was staffed by representatives from the CVRD public safety division, Red Cross and other partner agencies.

The Emergency Operation Centre was downgraded from a Level 2 to a Level 1, administered by CVRD public safety staff until such time as the state of local emergency is rescinded.

All BC Hydro customers suffering power outages in the Cowichan Valley had their electricity restored by Sunday evening.

flooding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Second vehicle from Crofton Geo-Tech theft recovered

Supervisor at Crofton operation finds it parked at Chemainus campground

RCMP there for the public during COVID-19 crisis, says B.C.’s assistant commissioner

Dwyane McDonald said the RCMP are working closely with local governments and health officials

T.W. Paterson column: Friendly card game led to fatal shooting in Nanaimo

The final witness, Dr. L.T. Davis, refused to give testimony until he was paid in advance

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read