By Lyonel Doherty
Spring is finally in the air. The birds are singing, the fruit blossoms are intoxicating and . . . there’s water all over the “dam” place.
If you’re not directly impacted by the flooding, it’s a totally different world when you see it in Willowbrook and in Sportsmen’s Bowl.
Just a few weeks ago it was merely a small creek on the side of the road. Now it’s a river with currents. Unbelievable!
Ironically, one residence has a bathtub ornament at the foot of the driveway. Wouldn’t be surprised if it started floating away with someone in it.
Homeowners who have lived in this area for years say they’ve never seen flooding like this before. Even Area C director Terry Schafer is using words like “biblical,” which is scary.
But the truth is our weather patterns seem to be getting more extreme every year. Some people scoff at climate change, but it’s happening faster than we ever imagined.
Mother Nature is getting sick (of us) and we need to stop and help her by being more environmentally responsible on this earth.
So we’re starting to think, yes, it is “biblical” in that we are paying for our sins.
Okay, enough of the sermon (been there, done that). What do we do about all this?
For one thing, you can help waterlogged homeowners fill and deploy sandbags. You never know, you could make a new friend who will help you out during a personal crisis.
We must tip our hats to the visiting wildfire crews from Merritt who are laying sandbags like it’s their own community. And it was nice to see the Grade 6 classes from Oliver Elementary School chip in to fill sandbags at the fire hall.
Of course, we must also acknowledge the flood prevention work being done by Argo Road Maintenance and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Some people complain that the ministry did not heed the call last year when flooding was a problem in Willowbrook. But it appears to be a different story this year as the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Last week there was a real potential for Secrest Hill Road to wash out and cause a major slide that would have devastated many homes and properties. We’re not out of the woods, though, because we haven’t seen the bulk of spring runoff yet.
If you live in a flood-prone area, be ready to evacuate immediately with the essentials in a suitcase.
Residents or property owners requiring further assistance can call the Emergency Operations Centre at 250-490-4225. For after-hours emergencies, call the Provincial Emergency Program at 1-800-663-3456.