Vancouver Island First Nation orders evacuation due to flooding

Vancouver Island First Nation orders evacuation due to flooding

VANCOUVER —
A Vancouver Island First Nation has ordered several of its residents to evacuate because of rising river levels.

The Cowichan Tribes First Nation issued an evacuation alert for seven different areas of reserve land on Saturday afternoon, and later upgraded that alert to an evacuation order for Wil’seem and Sahilton roads.

Members of the RCMP and other emergency response agencies were deployed to help expedite the order, which the nation said affects roughly 20 residences.

“We understand that flooding and temporary relocations can be challenging and we are here to support members,” the nation said in its order. “We are doing this to keep community members safe.”

More details and a map of the affected area can be found in the evacuation order notice

The evacuation order follows several days of heavy rain that has marked the end of December and the beginning of January on Vancouver Island.

On Saturday, B.C.’s River Forecast Centre upgraded its high streamflow advisory for eastern Vancouver Island to a flood watch, saying the Englishman and Nanaimo rivers could overflow their banks as rain continues to fall.

Shortly after the flood watch was issued, several properties in the region were put on evacuation alert, meaning residents should be prepared to leave if necessary.

In addition to the Cowichan Tribes First Nation alerts, the Regional District of Nanaimo issued evacuation alerts for two properties: 1698 Wilkinson Rd. in Nanaimo and 380 Martindale Rd. in Parksville. Both addresses appear to be mobile home parks.

Details on the evacuation alerts can be found on the regional district website

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Saturday’s storm caused several other issues around Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

BC Ferries cancelled four sailings due to inclement weather, and the Comox Valley Regional District issued a boil water advisory, citing high turbidity caused by recent snow and rain. 

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