Dawson Creek Busy Assessing Flood Damage
Dawson Creek, B.C. – It’s still to early to assess exactly how much damage was caused by flooding in Dawson Creek last week.
The community of roughly 11,500 people was one of the region’s hardest hit areas after receiving up to 130 millimetres of rain in a 24-36-hour period.
Mayor Dale Bumstead says it’s a big job considering there was extensive damage to infrastructure, roads, culverts, bridges, sidewalks not to mention people’s homes.
He says the city’s first order of business is prioritizing the things that need to be attended to first adding it’s too early to put a dollar figure on things just yet.
“Really early. You know we talked to the fire chief Sunday, he said we probably have 120,130 homes that have been damaged by floodwater and sewer backup,” says Bumstead.
“And then of course the damages to our community in terms of the bridge washout and the culverts and all of that stuff. It’s a big task.”
But while the assessment work continues he’s been very pleased with the response from senior levels of government.
“You know honestly; everyone has been so good. Minister Bernier, who is the MLA for our riding, has been in constant contact. Emergency Preparedness Minister Yamamoto said whatever you need,” says Bumstead.
“A great statement to me by the Premier coming up Sunday just to be able to see it for herself. Our MP Bob Zimmer reached out to me right away as the floods were on and said ‘Dale, make sure to keep in touch with us from the federal perspective’ and our industry partners have been just great too.”
A life long resident of Dawson Creek, he says he was struck by the sheer intensity of the flood.
“You can’t prepare for that. We’ve seen floods in the past but the amount of volume we were dealing with in such a short period of time – we just couldn’t deal with it.”
Despite the challenges though, Bumstead remains optimistic.
“After a storm there’s rainbows and so today we look forward to fixing our community and moving it forward. And thank goodness no one was injured, thank goodness there was no catastrophic event.”