Submitted photo of Russell Farms Market near Crofton where someone was reportedly trapped on the roof Friday night. (Amanda Costin photo)

Submitted photo of Russell Farms Market near Crofton where someone was reportedly trapped on the roof Friday night. (Amanda Costin photo)

UPDATED 1 p.m.: State of emergency declared for Cowichan Valley after heavy rain, flooding

Emergency reception centre set up at Cowichan Community Centre

••• 3 p.m. Update

The CVRD has issued it’s final statement of the day. CVRD officials say the local state of emergency will remain in place despite the threat of further flooding having subsided.

That doesn’t mean all roads have been re-opened, however.

“Flaggers are no on scene at several flooded roadways to direct traffic around road closures.”

The emergency reception centre that was set up at the Cowichan Community Centre has closed as nearly all residents using the service have returned home or have sought other accommodation. The centre may re-open if the need arises.

The emergency operations centre shut down at 2:30 p.m. but will reconvene at 9 a.m. Sunday to reassess the situation and give another public update.

Check social media and the CVRD and North Cowichan websites for the latest, as well as the Drive BC, and BC Hydro websites should that information be required.

••• 1 p.m. Update

Cowichan Tribes has declared a local state of emergency in accordance with the CVRD.

Tribes members can call Derek Thompson, General Manager at 250-732-4962 or Alec Johnnie at 250-252-0095 if they need emergency shelter or other help. The Siem Le’lum gym is open for members seeking shelter and warmth.

Those needing help evacuating from their flooded homes are asked to call Darin George 250- 510-5767 or Howie George 250-732-3838.

The Pacific Marine Road (Pacific Marine Circle Route) connecting Honeymoon Bay to Port Renfrew is closed.

Highway Rentals (2935 Sprott Rd.) is offering to help residents in protecting their property with sandbags, available free of charge until 4 p.m. today.

Power outages continue to affect communities across the region. Visit https://www.bchydro.com/power-outages/app/outage-map.html for up-to-date information in that regard.

••• 10:40 a.m. Update Drive BC reports the the highway between Duncan and Chemainus has re-opened. Please expect delays and continue to drive based on the conditions.

<^>

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has declared a state of emergency and activated a Level 2 emergency operations centre as well as an emergency reception centre for evacuees in response to the intense localized flooding in various spots in the region, despite flood waters having receded as of Saturday morning.

The latest update — as of 9 a.m. Saturday morning is that The Trans Canada Highway remains closed north of Duncan for traffic in both directions. Other current roads closures include Westholme Road, Chemainus Road, Canada Avenue, Mary Street and Tzouhalem Road, according to CVRD spokesperson Kris Schumacher.

North Cowichan staffers are standing by at the traffic circle at the base of Lakes Road in the event a flood wall needs to be installed at that location.

Know before you go. Check the Drive BC website for up-to-date road closure information.

Another update is expected by 11:30 a.m.

READ ALSO: Flooding has closed several roads in Cowichan Valley

The water levels in the Koksilah, Chemainus, and Cowichan Rivers peaked overnight from Friday and into the early morning hours of Saturday. Real-time river level and flows can be monitored by residents at www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca

An “atmospheric river” brought heavy rains with a station at Effingham Inlet, off the west coast, recording nearly 300mm of rain on Friday.

By Friday evening, Chemainus River was above a 5-year flow and still rising as was Cowichan River.

Around 10 p.m. flooding in areas of Crofton resulted in the evacuation of about 23 people. A BC Transit bus was used to bring 18 residents to the Duncan area to stay with friends and family, and the rest were accommodated in Crofton. According to the Cowichan Valley Regional District, evacuations continued into the early morning and at 3 a.m. the Cowichan Community Centre opened as a group lodging and reception centre for about 28 evacuated residents from North Cowichan and the Halalt First Nation.

All four North Cowichan fire halls were in action on Friday night. Crofton was dealing with the flooding and evacuations in their area, with assistance from Chemainus. South End responded to a shed fire on Cowichan Lake Road around 10 p.m., and as soon as they were clear of that site, went to Russell Farms Market at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Mount Sicker Road to help Chemainus crews rescue five individuals who were trapped on the roof as that area flooded. Maple Bay members were staged at the Crofton hall in case further assistance was needed, and the Duncan and Ladysmith halls were also alerted in case the South End or Chemainus halls, respectively, required help.

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, hasn’t seen a night that busy for the four North Cowichan halls since he started his job last March.

“The volunteers and paid on-call firefighters were very good,” he said. “When everybody is pitching in, it’s quite a sight to behold. Once they get going and sharing resources, they’re very well-coordinated.”

Saturday morning CVRD staff were also called to fill their roles at the CVRD’s emergency reception centre at the Cowichan Community Centre as residents from multiple low-lying areas have been evacuated due to the flood.

Residents needing emergency evacuation help should call 911.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

flooding

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

 

Lake Cowichan in the wake of flooding that closed roads and saw homes evacuated Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. (Leslie Schofield photo)

Lake Cowichan in the wake of flooding that closed roads and saw homes evacuated Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. (Leslie Schofield photo)

UPDATED 1 p.m.: State of emergency declared for Cowichan Valley after heavy rain, flooding

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
RDN Transit has sights set on busing to Cowichan Valley by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in the budget

Parking decals for motorcycles owned by riders with disabilities are now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Motorcycle decals now available in Nanaimo for disabled riders

Limited number of decals now available from the Nanaimo Disability Resource Centre

Ceramic artist Teresa Dorey with some of the pieces from her upcoming exhibition, ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Ceramic artist explores ideas around empathy and touch in Nanaimo exhibition

Montreal’s Teresa Dorey presents ‘Einfühlung: Feeling Into’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Multi-disciplinary Snuneymuxw artist named ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Most Read