Flooding concerns are rising like the water levels for residents of Westholme, Chemainus and the Halalt First Nation along the Chemainus River.
Heavy rain on the weekend caused minor flooding in the same areas severely impacted by a downpour last Jan. 31. There are fears it could get worse again with more rain in the forecast throughout the week.
Don Allingham, a lifelong resident at a farm near the Chemainus River bridge, said the water came over the bank again after Saturday’s downpour and flooded out Pinson’s Corner at the junction of Chemainus and Crofton Roads as usual.
“What you expect, actually,” he said. “It wasn’t as violent a flood as last year. There wasn’t the debris on the banks.”
But residents know the situation can change again in an instant and are keeping a close eye on the situation.
Allingham said many people reference the tide tables, but he’s more inclined to watch the snowpack on the mountains as an indicator of what could happen.
“You get a double whammy,” he indicated.
There has been a large snow melt already in recent days from rain at higher elevations, creating a larger water flow.
“I don’t expect as big a flood because a lot of the snow’s melted,” Allingham added.
But it is still early in the winter and a lot could occur over the course of the next two months.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District is continuing to monitor flooding throughout the region. A high stream advisory remains in effect and the public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable river banks.
Flooding problems that continue to occur are dealt with by the local jurisdiction. The CVRD has activated a Regional Emergency Operations Centre to monitor conditions and assist with flood protection activities.
It is recommended that residents in areas prone to flooding be prepared to evacuate. This includes gathering essential items like identification, medications, valuable documents and any immediate care needs in the event evacuation is required.