Residents rebuild together by sweeping the Similkameen River and damaging communities – Penticton News

Casey Richardson

“I’ve seen other people go through this and you feel bad for them. But it really hits when it happens to you.”

Residents diligently clean up at Riverside RV Resort outside of Keremeos after the Similkameen River rose and flooded the property on Monday morning.

Ian Woodrow woke up at six o’clock in the morning with the horn ringing constantly across his street, and the noise moved him from the bed to the front door, where he was greeted by rising water.

“I had about 5 to 10 feet of water on my plot,” he explained. “So we got it all out, all the stuff out. I came back after half an hour, that’s half my lawn. And within an hour it was full up to two feet.”

Another inhabitant awoke from the horns, and he stepped out to see the river rise up his stairs.

“I walked out of the bedroom, looked here and it was just a mountain of water. I couldn’t believe it,” Roger Cox said. “I didn’t really know what to think, ‘What’s going on here?’ I knew it was water and mud. Then I started thinking, what am I doing here?

“It was devastating.”

Ray Meier watched the water rise from his driveway to reach his house, almost two feet deep in front.

“We are collecting stuff and preparing to take the stuff to a higher level. It moved fast, it was scary. ”

Residents rushed as the water level rose, some evacuated their friends ’homes or nearby hotels, others slept in their cars overnight to stay warm after the power was turned off.

“We slept out in the truck, right there in front of me. I have that satellite TV. Listen to Willie Nelson. So anyway, we were all fine,” Cox said with a laugh. She has a smile on her lips on Tuesday afternoon on her property and cleaning, with a positive mind, even though there is damage around her.

“[My] the kids are worried about me, they’re all calling because I’m 79 … and they’re all worried. I said, “I work stressed, that’s okay.” But in any case, it will take a long time to fix. A lot of personal things are lost. “

Electricity was cut off in many apartments on Tuesday and is not expected to return for many days after repairs. Part of the road through the park has been damaged by the river.

“The river just flowed down the road, about 30 to 35 miles an hour and weakened my cement pad. I was just circling the trailer, so it has done some damage there. But many other people’s homes were more damaged than I was,” Woodrow added.

In a small RV park, neighbors help each other and check in. One woman distributes sandwiches while people clean the streets.

“Here, everyone is grouping together, we’re helping each other. Now that the waters are down, we’re all helping each other get it back to normal, because this is our home,” Meier said.

Woodrow said there are a lot of good people in this park.

“They’ve offered help. I have old friends I haven’t talked to in 25 years who have offered me accommodation. So it brings out the good in people. But by saying it, you don’t want to go through this. It’s a lot of stress.”

Homeowners hope to get help from the government because their insurance does not cover flooding.

“This hasn’t happened here before. They’ve had a couple of floods next to the orchard, they’re small floods. But no one has seen it like this before. So let’s just keep cleaning, and hopefully we’ll be back to normal in a couple of weeks.

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