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Evacuation alert extended for parts of North Cowichan due to continued flooding

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On December 26th, with the arrival of strong winds and a King Tide, melting snow and high rivers caused an evacuation alert for some residents of North Cowichan.

The people most affected by this evacuation are those that live on properties near the Chemainus River.

As of December 27th at 5 p.m. the evacuation alert was extended and will be reassessed on December 28th. 

(Chris Sadler/Facebook)

When the heavy rain was joined with the melting snow and a King Tide, localized flooding near Pinson’s Corner (the corner of Chemainus Road at Crofton Road) needed to be evacuated. 

North Cowichan says that the river levels have been dropping since the evening of December 26th, but water gauges along the Chemainus River still show increasing volume of river flow.

Rainfall continued in the region until approximately midnight and December 28th has another King Tide projected for Vancouver Island. 

“Residents can be prepared for flood events by ensuring storm drains near their property are cleared of snow or leaves, and check your home’s eaves and downspouts to ensure water drains properly,” said the Municipality of North Cowichan in a statement.

“Localized flooding can be expected during heavy rain events. Never drive through a flooded road, even if signs are not yet in place.”

North Cowichan is encouraging residents to sign up for CowichanAlert for information about road closures, significant weather events and evacuation alerts. 

Here are some recommendations from North Cowichan of what to do in the event of an evacuation: 

  • Locate all your family members and identify a ‘muster point’ outside the evacuation area, just in case an evacuation takes place while the family is separated.
  • Have a go-bag ready. Take only essential items such as ID, medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e. insurance, credit, and mortgage information) and immediate care needs for dependents. If there is time, take some keepsakes.
  • Prepare to assist neighbours.
  • Be prepared to take pets with you. Move livestock to a safe area if possible.
  • Have a transportation plan ready for all family members. Fill the gas tanks of personal vehicles.
  • Have a backup plan for alternate accommodations for all members of the residence.
  • Wait for the evacuation order to be given before evacuating.
  • Monitor local news sources, radio stations and CowichanAlert for additional information.
  • If an evacuation order is announced, reception centres’ locations will also be communicated.
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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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