Cowichan Tribes has issued an evacuation order for two areas within the First Nation on Jan. 2, 2021. (screenshot)

Flooding causes evacuation order for Cowichan Tribes land; COVID-19 confirmed within First Nation

Cowichan Tribes issued an evacuation order for the Wil’seem Road and Sahilton Road areas

Cowichan Tribes issued an evacuation order for the Wil’seem Road and Sahilton Road areas near Duncan at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2.

There is an immediate danger to life and safety due to flooding in the area, the order said.

RCMP and other emergency response agencies carried out the order.

“You must leave the are immediately,” the order reads.

Residents were advised to take the safest travel route available to either the Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay or Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn on Norcross Road.

People were told to make sure all of their gas and electrical appliances were shut off other than freezers and refrigerators before leaving, and that they should take critical items such as medicine, identification and pets with them.

“We understand that flooding and temporary relocations can be challenging and we are here to support members,” said the order, signed by Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour. “We are doing this to keep community members safe.”

If people had questions or were in need of assistance, they were asked to call 250-715-3339.

The Vancouver Island Crisis Line (1-888-494-3888) is also available at any time if you need to talk to someone.

Other areas are on evacuation alert as of 4:30 p.m. Saturday. They include Quamichan west, Clem Clem, Tyup Road, Joe Road, Green Point or Khenipson Road.

“Please consider leaving your home immediately if your safety is at risk or if flooding is about to happen near you. Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to a declared evacuation; however, you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions,” the alert reads.

“People with mobility issues are strongly encouraged to leave now and identify their transportation options. Accommodations options are available through Cowichan Tribes.”

COVID-19 complicated the flood response.

In a news release on the Cowichan Tribes website dated Jan. 1, it states that there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Cowichan Tribes community.

“This is a difficult time for all of us, and the next few weeks will be challenging. But we are a strong Nation, and we will get through this. Now, we all need to stay home, stay safe, and support each other. Let’s work together as a Nation to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our Sul’wheen and our loved ones,” Seymour said.

Cowichan Tribes residents were urged not to share vehicles between households as they leave the flood area, and to avoid going to other households in the community because of COVID-19.

The Jan. 1 release says that Cowichan Tribes members who have tested positive are self-isolating and are in regular contact with public health officials to receive guidance on health and safety protocols.

“Chief and Council and Cowichan Tribes’ Pandemic Response Team, under the direction of the General Manager and Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre, are leading the Pandemic Response. Our Nation is working closely with Island Health, First Nations Health Authority and public health officials to support contact tracing, monitor cases, and keep members safe,” the news release says.

“If the number of cases in our community grows, Chief and Council may implement additional safety measures and restrictions through our COVID-19 Community Protection Bylaw.

“Cowichan Tribes is urging all members to stay home, stay safe, and follow public health orders. We must work together as a Nation to stop the spread of COVID-19,” the release concludes.

Cowichan Tribesflooding

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

Just Posted

Chemainus Health Care Centre residents have been vaccinated. (Photo by Don Bodger)
First vaccinations done at Chemainus Health Care Centre, Steeples

Relief to have the vulnerable population protected against COVID-19

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy requires emergency treatment three times after ingesting drugs

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Danielle Groenendijk and Bo were on the run and having fun during the last month. (Photo submitted)
Putting your time to good use

Groenendijk goes the extra kilometre to raise funds for Parkinson’s

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Cartoonist Rob Kernachan.
Kernachan’s cartoon flashback 2008

Carbon footprint reference still pertinent today

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

Most Read