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First We Cried For The Rain And Now We Screaming For It To Stop

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  • MalahatTwo7
    Further update to the Aspen Rd story.

    By Rick Stiebel News Gazette staff

    A record rainfall Oct. 16 washed out a section of Aspen Road on the Malahat, stranding the 200 residents who live in a subdivision there.
    "A renter called me this morning and said that it happened Thursday around 1 p.m.," said Alex Loiselle, a partner in the property owned by Robert Hall. "I've lived all of my life in Victoria, and I've never seen anything like this."

    Loiselle, who came out to assess the damage, said he was trying to get to an excavator on the other side of the chasm where the road had been.

    "There's some skids that I can make a bridge out of, if I can get to the excavator," he said. "Maybe we can build something across 17 Mile Road, so people can at least walk in and out."

    He pointed to grass clumps wrapped around trees as evidence the water roared down the road nearly 10 feet above the creek bed at the storm's peak.

    Loiselle said the washout may have resulted from extensive work he said the JJM Group did last summer near the creek on the north side.
    "I think the culverts filled up with sand and gravel from the rain, and eroded the road," Loiselle said.

    Mark Stevens, JJM's assistant general manager for maintenance, said the company did access work there to allow equipment to clear debris, which is a regular problem.

    He said JJM did not install the culverts, which he thinks were put in when the road was built.

    "We're working on installing a route at Aspen right now so people can get in and out," he said.

    Hall said JJM tried to implement access on an old logging road on Friday, but ran into some problems.

    "They worked on 17 Mile Road on Saturday," he said. "People were able to drive in and out using that road as of Saturday afternoon," Hall said.

    © Copyright 2003 Goldstream Gazette
    Attached Files

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  • mcaldwell
    Measurements taken early this morning now show our river has risen over 5' since Monday night. That is the new record for out here. The Fire Hall is on the bank of the river, and the water is 6" from spilling into the parking lot and flooding the building. The rain has eased, but has not stopped.

    I think it's just about time to move the engine.

    Anybody got a canoe they can spare?

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  • MalahatTwo7
    There was a second picture showing a mobile home flooded up to just below the front window...

    Fish found on floor of trailer after flood

    CH TV Tuesday, October 21, 2003 CREDIT: CH TV

    A still photo from a CH viewer video of the flood as seen from one of the trailers.

    One man found a fish on the floor of his trailer after the floodwaters abated.

    Record rainfall caused a Central Saanich trailer park to flood Monday night.

    Rain from around the area collected at Cedar Meadows Mobile Home Park, which is on low-lying land along Mount Newton Cross Road. High tide and a nearby creek added to the flow.

    The water crept up the front steps and into several homes. In some places the water was so high that residents used canoes to get to and from the front door.

    Debbie Wigger's home was among several trailers ruined by water damage.

    "I mean, this is our whole life. We have nothing. It's gone," Wiggins says. "All my kids' pictures ... everything is ruined."

    The water was reportedly about three and a half feet deep within half and hour.

    Trailer park resident Doug Walker found a tiny fish on the floor of his home.

    Walker says the water was up to his waist when he came home from work Monday night. Inside his home, the water lapped the bottom of his cupboards.

    His freezer, which was full of food, was carried away by the flood. Although the dryer stayed put inside his home, Walker later found muddy water inside it.

    Gord Martman Excavating employee John Hermsen borrowed an excavator from the company to drain the water into a nearby creek. He says if he hadn't done it, his parents' home would have been underwater.

    Hermsen dug down three metres, and the floodwaters cleared in 45 minutes. While the water has abated, the damage is permanent.

    It will take several days for the waterlogged homes to dry out.

    The residents believe the flood could have been prevented.

    The land belongs to the Tsowaot Band, and residents say if there was better drainage, the disaster wouldn't have happened.

    "We've been after people to get this fixed for quite a few years," Hermsen says. "This is a good example of what we were worried about."

    Property manager Vivian Hermsen blames other causes.

    "A lot of it is the development that's been going on around the municpality," Hermsen says. "The water has to go somewhere, and it has to come through this culvert we have down here, and the culvert just couldn't carry it."

    John Hermsen is digging a permanent culvert which should prevent future floods.

    More: http:////www.canada.com/victoria/sto...7-16028F82DC1F

    Record Rainfall Photo Slideshow

    Were you affected by the rainstorm? SOUND OFF!
    © Copyright 2003 CH TV, canada.com
    Attached Files

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  • MalahatTwo7
    FF26 and I were discussing which one of us would be placing an ad in the local paper:

    "Wanted, one large wooden boat. Must be minimum 40 cubits wide, and 100 cubits long and have side ramp loading. Must have carry capacity for one male/female pair of each specices. Please call...... "
    Attached Files

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  • NJFFSA16
    Meanwhile...back in the States

    MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - Residents of this northwest
    Washington farm town frantically piled sandbags Tuesday to protect
    their homes and businesses from the rising waters of the Skagit
    A day earlier, Seattle endured its rainiest day on record.
    "I've never seen it like this," Handy Booth, a city building
    inspector, said Tuesday morning as he got ready to help build a
    nearly mile-long wall of sandbags 6 feet wide and as high as 6 feet
    on Main Street, between the river and downtown.
    Running thick with mud, logs and debris, the Skagit River was
    forecast to crest here near 37 feet - 9 feet above flood stage.
    That's slightly lower than the town's previous record, set during a
    1990 flood.
    By 9 p.m. Tuesday, the river was at about 36 feet, 8 feet above
    flood stage, and the sandbag wall was holding.
    "I think the city of Mount Vernon is safe," said John Pell, a
    structural engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers. He monitored
    construction of the sandbag barrier.
    "I'm glad we got everything done," fire Lt. Tom Scally said
    Tuesday night. "Now we're keeping our fingers crossed."
    The Skagit County Public Works Department evacuated homes in
    low-lying areas, including parts of Mount Vernon, Fir Island near
    Conway and Gages Slough east of Burlington.
    Upstream near the town of Concrete, the river crested at 42.2
    feet - 14.2 feet above flood stage - early Tuesday. The night
    before, residents of low-lying areas of Concrete, Hamilton and
    Marblemount were evacuated, said spokesman Ric Boge with the county
    Public Works Department.
    About 120 Hamilton residents who live in recreational vehicles
    drove them to higher ground around a Red Cross shelter set up at
    Hamilton First Baptist Church Monday night. A handful of people
    spent the night in the church, said Chris Smith, a Red Cross
    "We were just told there's about four feet in our home," said
    Colleen Martin, 35. "I just keep wondering how I'm going to
    replace everything. I had to leave everything - my kids' clothes, I
    had a brand-new TV ... a brand-new washing machine. ... We were
    just lucky enough to grab our dogs and our bird."
    Martin said she's been told she and her family - her fiance, two
    boys, her mom and stepdad - might have to stay there a week.
    "There's still a lot of water," Boge said Tuesday afternoon.
    "Even though it's receding, it still has a ways to go before
    conditions return to normal."
    In Mount Vernon, 55 miles north of Seattle, residents scrambled
    to sandbag the downtown courthouse, shops and the big wall that
    protects the city against high water on the Skagit, which threatens
    to flood nearly every winter but also waters some of the lushest
    farmland in the state.
    Rick Moreland, 42, and owner of Rick's Just-a-Bite restaurant,
    grew so frustrated hearing all the flood news he turned off his
    "I'm scared. I'm worried about what's going to happen,"
    Moreland said. "But I feel we've done everything we can. It's out
    of our hands."
    Northwest of Mount Vernon in Sedro Woolley, United General
    Hospital evacuated all its staff and patients because of the
    Skagit's rising waters. About 80 staff members were sandbagging the
    building, and 17 patients were being taken to Skagit Valley
    Hospital in Mount Vernon.
    To the south, the Stillaguamish River overflowed and cut off
    Silvana from the rest of Snohomish County. The town's water system
    quit working, so firefighters filled up a makeshift plastic
    pool-like structure with water so residents wouldn't go thirsty,
    said Christine Colmore, an official with the county's Emergency
    Management Department.
    Flood warnings remained in effect on five rivers: the Skagit;
    the Snohomish in Snohomish County; the Skokomish in Mason County,
    northwest of Olympia; the Snoqualmie in King County and the
    Nooksack in Whatcom County.
    Floating trees and debris created a massive logjam at the Hewitt
    Avenue trestle where U.S. 2 crosses the Snohomish River in Everett.
    State Department of Transportation crews were using a hydraulic
    crane and three track-mounted backhoes to clear the debris.
    State Department of Transportation maintenance crews spent the
    day clearing roadways blocked by mud, rockslides, trees and debris.
    Several roads remained closed because of flood damage and slides
    from last week's storm.
    In 1990, 20 rivers flooded in Western Washington, displacing
    thousands of people and doing $160 million in damage. That year,
    the Skagit crested at 40.2 feet in Concrete and 37.4 feet in Mount
    Vernon. Five years later, the area flooded when the river reached
    41.57 feet in Concrete and 37.4 feet in Mount Vernon.
    Monday's heavy rains broke a single calendar day record in
    Seattle. The National Weather Service said rainfall at
    Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was 5.02 inches - well over
    the old mark of 3.41 inches on Nov. 20, 1959. The records date back
    to 1931.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • RspctFrmCalgary
    Is this the wrong time to tell ya its 24 SMOKING! DEGREES????????

    Seriously though OMG everything is wacky! I hope you guys all stay safe! There's already been 2 deaths

    Leave a comment:

  • firefighter26
    Originally posted by mcaldwell
    First the 100 year fire season, and now the 100 year storm.
    If someone gets evacuated from both the forest fire, and the flood, within a month or two of each other, do they get a prize?????

    Our Engine has two 2 1/2 discharges on the back... if the water gets any deeper we are just going to take the wheels off, open the hard suction ports (one 6inch on either side).... put the pump in gear and open the two rear outlets....

    Suck the water in the side, and blast it out the back like a jet boat....

    We can just feather closed one of the sides individually in order to reduce the pressure, and thus giving us the ability to turn....

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  • mcaldwell
    The rain may be easing up on your side of the province, but we are getting nervous over here now. Our creek (river), rose 3.5 ft last night alone. It is within 1.5 ft of the main road now, and no sign of the rain stopping up the valley. The ground is so saturated, we are worried about mudslides as well.

    I have never seen it this precarious in my 10 years here.

    First the 100 year fire season, and now the 100 year storm. The Apocalypse is upon us, Repent, Repent!!

    Leave a comment:

  • MalahatTwo7
    EFD840, I hear ya on the "will live through it" part. I have already had that misfortune this past weekend.

    See pic below.... (this is what I do for a 2nd job - and yes, the oil tanker is what I was driving at the time).
    Attached Files

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  • firefighter26
    Originally posted by MalahatTwo7
    I just hope the temp road is strong enough to carry the tanker.
    Well, the temp road was washed away last night, so that sorta sucks.

    Even if it wasn't washed away, there was no way the tanker or even the engine could get down it. It was way to soft. Rescue 4 and Truck 5 are about the only option, which means everyone is going to have to be smart with what they take, and how they use it.

    Scott and Dave (Chief and Deputy) have already taken that all into account, and they are working on what the plan of action, and options are going to be.
    Last edited by firefighter26; 10-21-2003, 04:30 PM.

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  • EFD840
    Originally posted by MalahatTwo7
    I just hope the temp road is strong enough to carry the tanker. That would really suck to have to call in a recovery vehicle to come get us out.... that's just too embarrassing for words.
    As bad is it seems, I can provide expert testimony that you will live through it, even if you get it stuck in front of God and everybody while on a mutual aid call.

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  • MalahatTwo7

    Rains taint wells, flood threat lingers

    Cindy E. Harnett Times Colonist Tuesday, October 21, 2003

    CREDIT: Deddeda Stemler, Times Colonist

    Logan Fisher, 4, front, is unsure about the pumpkin picking conditions at Oldfield Orchards during a St. Joseph's school outing Monday.

    Vancouver Islanders were wet and miserable again Monday as torrential rains contaminated well water, contributed to car crashes and tore up fish spawning beds.

    After a relatively calm weekend, heavy rains and high winds returned, pummelling the south and central Island by morning. By late afternoon the entire Island was under a blanket of rain and grey sky. Victoria saw 62 millimetres come down by late Monday afternoon, and the Malahat saw 80 mm. In total since Thursday, 246 mm of rain has fallen at Victoria International Airport and 320 mm at Port Alberni.

    In Oak Bay and Victoria, basements flooded, causing water pumps to be in demand from stores. The Nanaimo food bank lost two dumpsters worth of food due to flooding. And in Sooke, high tides saw lower roads washed out.

    "At the lower elevations with high water and high tides, the culverts aren't big enough for these 100-year floods," said Richie Howard of JJM Maintenance.

    Residents living adjacent to the Sooke River were also notified they may be asked to leave if water levels increased.

    After record-rainfalls forced the Sooke River to overflow and flood out homes Thursday, well water was tested.

    The results are back and eight out of 10 wells have tested positive for fecal coliform, Sooke Mayor Janet Evans said Monday. That means a boil-water advisory remains in effect in that area.

    However, Greater Victoria residents and Sooke residents on municipal water connections "have nothing to worry about," said Vancouver Island chief medical health officer Richard Stanwick.

    Turbidity -- cloudiness in the water -- has not exceeded guidelines used by the Capital Regional District water division, even at the peak of Thursday's storm, said manager Jack Hull.

    The Sooke reservoir has stayed within water quality guidelines. The health authority considered boosting the water with chlorine but that hasn't been necessary, said Stanwick. "Things are looking good," he said.

    Meanwhile, water supplies are building rapidly. The Sooke reservoir -- Greater Victoria's major source of drinking water -- has risen about 2.5 metres since Thursday and continues to climb. Before the rains started last week, the reservoir was at 35 per cent of capacity; it's now at 50 per cent.

    While rainfall in Victoria and Port Alberni subsided early Monday evening, the capital region was expected to get another 20 to 40 mm of rain overnight -- and a wind warning is in effect for most of the Island. However, that precipitation is expected to dissipate today, dump another load Wednesday, and be gone by Thursday.

    "This next storm is looking like it will be a little shorter lived and nowhere near as intense," said meteorologist Cindy Vallis. "It is expected to break up Thursday, with sunny breaks in the southern half of the Island."

    That couldn't happen fast enough for biologist Peter McCully, of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He said the unrelenting rain has caused rivers to rise and swell -- in turn disturbing salmon beds and interfering with data and fish collection.

    A floating weir used by the Goldstream hatchery to count returning fish has been blown out of the water by high flows. The numbers are vital to DFO as it provides the basis for decision making.

    As well, the water levels are interfering with the number of fish caught.

    "If this goes on much longer we won't be able to catch enough to supply the eggs we need for the hatchery," said McCully.

    As well, while the high water levels in the Goldstream river are encouraging more salmon to leave the estuary and come up to spawn, unfortunately the fast-moving high water threatens to scour out fish beds, swishing around the gravel and displacing salmon eggs.

    At the Sooke hatchery, water is threatening to wash away the ground structure.

    "If this goes on like this for another week, we're in jeopardy of not being able to meet our (egg collection) targets," said McCully.

    On Aspen Road, off the Malahat Drive, residents are again without a road to get out of their neighbourhood. After raging creek waters ripped up Aspen Road on Friday, JJM Maintenance crews began clearing out an old utility road. That detour route was opened for local residents Saturday but was unceremoniously closed again Monday after the low areas were flooded. The near 100 residents of the area were forced to walk in and out of their dead-end subdivision.

    Meanwhile, slick roads and overflowing creeks kept police hopping.

    Saanich police are advising trail users at Colquitz River Park to use caution and be aware of high water levels.

    In the West Shore, slippery roads and fog contributed to a two-vehicle accident. A car went off Kangaroo Road at Sooke Road early Monday, hitting a support pole that then fell on the car behind. The drivers were taken to Victoria General Hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life threatening.

    Beyond poor road conditions and stinking well water, another major health concern with unusually heavy rains and the shrinking daylight hours is stress, said Stanwick.

    "These are the rains we would normally see in November," said Stanwick.

    A few days of heavy rain is a novelty but beyond that point, some people will become increasingly edgy and lose sleep -- especially those who have lost their homes or belongings due to flooding. Emergency crews working on road repairs or tending to weather-related accidents also will come under increasing pressure.

    "The crews trying to repair the damage become fatigued and that's associated with mishaps," said Stanwick.

    © Copyright 2003 Times Colonist (Victoria)

    **For those of us who don't use metric, 50mm is about equal to 2 inches.**

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  • MalahatTwo7
    HOLY SHEEP DIP BATMAN!!! Judging from the damage, Aspen Rd will be out of commission for quite a while. They won't be able to do much more than temporary access repairs until the rain stops.... sometime around March or April Because even if the rain stops for a day or two, there will still be too much moisture in the ground to be able to affect efficient repairs. I just hope the temp road is strong enough to carry the tanker. That would really suck to have to call in a recovery vehicle to come get us out.... that's just too embarrassing for words.

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  • PFire23
    Here's some info on the Sooke flood situation, as well as other mishaps caused by the rain.

    Heavy rain forces evacuation in Sooke
    Council considers declaring state of emergency, three homes flooded to their roofs

    Ian Dutton, with files from Bill Cleverley
    Times Colonist; with files CanWest News Service

    Friday, October 17, 2003

    CREDIT: Deddeda Stemler, Times Colonist

    Randy Shaw, 34, doesn't let the heavy rain keep him from exploring Whiffin Spit in Sooke.


    Flooding near Sooke


    Fifty people were forced from their homes and three houses were flooded to their roofs after record rainfalls and high tides teamed to force the Sooke River over its banks Thursday.

    A rash of accidents plagued Greater Victoria streets as rain pelted the region in record amounts.

    Victoria police reported that a pedestrian was taken to hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a vehicle in the 600 Block of Admirals Road about 5:30 p.m.

    Approximately two hours later, two elderly women were hit by a vehicle at Oswego and Quebec streets and were taken to hospital.

    In Sooke, RCMP were turning people away from their homes along Sooke River and Phillips roads. Council met in a crisis session to ponder declaring a state of emergency after flood waters covered the roads two to three metres deep.

    Hardest hit were three houses on Phillips Road, across from Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. The normally modest flows of the Sooke River turned into a surly torrent lashing the town and the hills beyond.

    Mayor Janet Evans said the first call came into the municipality about 4 p.m. and an emergency operations centre was set up almost immediately. She said the residents asked to leave their homes were required to register at the municipal office. By Thursday night, everyone forced from their homes was able to find alternate lodging with family or friends.

    "We had one woman come in who had lived at her property since 1958 and she said she had never seen it like this," Evans said.

    The mayor said the community faces similar problems today if the rain does not relent. High tide comes just after 5 p.m., and high water in the Sooke basin, teamed with huge volume in the river, could trigger another crisis, she said.

    Council, on recommendation of staff and the RCMP, did not invoke a state of emergency Thursday -- which would have allowed RCMP to force people from their homes -- but said the option is still there today if the water gets too high.

    Please see Rains, A2

    ? From Page A1

    Evans said that despite the risk, some people chose to remain in their homes.

    Council was to meet again at 10 a.m. today and monitoring will continue all day, Evans said.

    As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Environment Canada reported that 91.4 millimetres of precipitation had been measured at the Victoria airport in 24 hours. With rain still falling, it was almost assured that the one-day record of 92 mm set on Jan. 18, 1986 would be surpassed.

    In the View Royal area, water undermined a light post, causing it to fall onto a car. The heavy rains kept emergency lines busy at Victoria's public works department, with the operator there indicating that he had taken up to 20 calls by late evening, all of which were water related. Flooded basements were the most common complaint.

    As of 5 p.m., the Malahat had recorded 119.2 mm of rain, Port Renfrew 137.7 mm and Comox 32.6 mm, and Vancouver and Abbotsford were poised to set new precipitation standards for the most rain ever in a 24-hour period.

    Vancouver saw 62.2 mm of rain by 5 p.m., surpassing the same-day record of 51.3 mm set in 1975.

    The 24-hour record is 89.9 mm set on Christmas Day in 1972. Abbotsford reported 65.8 mm, also surpassing its same-day record of 30.7 mm set in 1975. Abbotsford's all-time 24-hour rainfall record was set Nov. 3, 1971, when 95 mm fell.

    For the first time in months, more water was flowing into the Sooke reservoir than running out through Greater Victoria taps.

    As of Tuesday only about 23 million litres of water a day was flowing down Rithet Creek -- the main feeder of the reservoir.

    By 10 a.m. Thursday, the creek was pouring an estimated 455 million litres a day into the reservoir.

    "It's a phenomenal amount," said Nils Jensen, chairman of the Capital Regional District water supply commission.

    The $20-million Sooke Lake Reservoir expansion, which was completed in January, increased water storage capacity by 80 per cent.

    By the end of May, the reservoir had filled to 70 per cent of its capacity and ended the summer at 35 per cent. Water use was 8.5 per cent above the 10-year average.

    Using the long-range forecasts, there's less than a 50 per cent chance that the new reservoir will fill to capacity this winter, water officials estimate.

    However, a normal winter's rainfall is enough to ensure adequate water supplies next summer, Jensen said.

    "A normal rainfall won't fill up the reservoir but it will certainly give us plenty of extra storage to have on hand for next summer. Which is what it's all about."

    © Copyright 2003 Times Colonist (Victoria)
    Attached Files

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  • PFire23
    Found this article pertaining to the Aspen Road issue. A little FYI, this is the road we take to fill up our trucks from Aspen Pond, apparently we'll be booney bashing to get there for the next little while LOL.

    Rains wash out road near Malahat Mtn.

    CH TV

    Friday, October 17, 2003


    Rains wash out Malahat area road.


    The heavy rain has left some lower Vancouver Island residents high, not so dry and cut off.

    The record rainfall cut a path through Aspen Road near the Malahat Mountain and left a crater meaning some residents are cut off until repairs are done.

    The residents are now waiting to find out when their road will be repaired. Nothing can happen until the heavy rains stop.

    © Copyright 2003 CH TV
    Attached Files

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