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VIDEO: Flooding causes extensive damage at Parker Cove on Westside

The severe damage to Falcon Avenue was revealed once the flooding was diverted

The havoc wreaked by flooding in Parker Cove off Westside Road is continuing one day after residents were told to evacuate, and the damage to infrastructure has been revealed now that the flooding has been diverted.

The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) issued evacuation orders for residents on Falcon Avenue Tuesday, May 2, after Whiteman’s Creek spilled its banks and went over tiger dams and sandbags, flooding residential areas. Evacuation alerts were also issued for those on Grouse Avenue, Deer Street, Elk Street and Lakeshore Drive.

The evacuation order is due to “immediate danger to life and safety caused by flooding of Whiteman’s Creek,” the OKIB said.

It’s being called a once-in-200-years flooding event.

Crews managed to divert the flood off Falcon Avenue, revealing extensive damage to the roadway.

Parker Cove resident Judy Paulson captured video showing the damage, including a car half buried beneath debris.

“The road is just torn to shreds,” Paulson told The Morning Star. “It’s totally unusable. There’s parts of some of the older trailers that are down at that end, their front decks are just hanging. I don’t know how they haven’t fallen in yet.”

Paulson lives two blocks from where the flooding took place, and says her street, along with Falcon Avenue and other affected areas, are currently without water and power.

Electrical lines could be seen in the water, and on Wednesday morning, after the stream was diverted, they were lying in the rubble, she said.

“It’s just total devastation,” Paulson said. “It’s complete sadness.”

There were concerns that the septic field would be compromised by the flood, but she said on Tuesday night dump trucks full of large rocks were brought into the area. The rocks were used to make sure the water didn’t encroach upon the septic field.

Paulson said crews initially used tiger dams to try to reroute the stream, but the dams broke, so heavy equipment was used to get the job done.

Falcon Road resident Bob Grant was watching the water flood down his street Tuesday morning.

He said it’s the worst flooding he’s seen in the more than 20 years he’s lived there.

“We had a flood in 2017 but it didn’t come out to the road,” he said.

While the flooding has been terrible to witness, residents said it’s been heartening to watch neighbours helping each other.

“We’ve got to give a big hand out to the neighbours who have offered their homes and beds, and to look after animals, and all the sandbaggers, because everybody was out there sandbagging on their own for two days,” said Paulson.

All of Falcon Avenue has been evacuated, but some have come back Wednesday to continue sandbagging around their properties.

While no injuries have been reported as of yet, video shared to Reddit showed a risky situation in which a father and son brought a mother to safety through the rushing waters at Parker Cove using a garden hose.

Meanwhile, crews are monitoring Whiteman’s Bridge, making sure it doesn’t get washed out. On Wednesday afternoon the OKIB announced that traffic on Whiteman’s Bridge is reduced to single lane alternating traffic while crews are clearing debris out of the creek bed in the surrounding area.

Normal bridge traffic will resume after debris removal work has been completed.

The OKIB is advising people to be cautious around the flood area, as ground erosion during floods can be hazardous and ground can collapse without warning.

“The OKIB (Emergency Operations Centre) advises the public to stay clear of flood waters, fast flowing rivers and potentially unstable ground near flooding events for risk to health and safety,” the OKIB said in a press release Wednesday.

The forecast for the rest of the week shows a cooling trend, which the OKIB says is helpful for slowing the rate of snow melt in the higher elevation of the watershed above Whiteman’s Creek.

However, there is also precipitation expected in the forecast. Between seven to 11 millimeters of rain is expected in the watersheds above Whiteman’s Creek over the next five days.

READ MORE: Floods force additional evacuations on Westside, others on alert

READ MORE: Boundary residents urged to prepare ‘grab and go’ bag amid continued flood risks

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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