REPORTING · 26th June 2012
Video of Dutch Valley and Chopper attached belowIs the "State of Emergency" Issued for Another Reason?
As the local government officials jumped into action yesterday issuing warnings, alerts and evacuation orders, the flood threat was already falling. Had the state of emergency been issued on Saturday when all indicators demonstrated the threat was imminent, the "State of Emergency" order might be seen to be appropriate.
The Skeena River stabilized before the order was issued and the monitoring stations upstream; at Glen Vowell and above the confluence of the Babine River, all revealed significant reductions in the level and volume.
The Skeena River at Usk has dropped almost two feet in the last 12 hours.
Residents in Old Remo report they had already left before the notices arrived, in fact had left two days earlier.
In Dutch Valley the water began dropping slightly yesterday afternoon just as the Regional District arrived with their helicopters and sandbags.
The state of emergency seems a bit heavy handed though it might provide funds which could be used to provide rock to protect the farmland from eroding along the banks of the Kalum.
Another action this order might allow for is providing the authority to force entry onto property to take action they deem necessary.
This could be to overrule property owner Jim Wold in Dutch Valley. The officials who circled his property by helicopter numerous times yesterday will likely order the $33,000 of rock he has placed over the last four years, in an attempt to stop the erosion, be removed.
During the past 5 years he has fought, along with all the other resident to encourage the local governments to spend some money on rock to save the land upstream. Their failure to take action, or find a manner in which to direct funds to this area, is what has caused this present situation to develop as it sits today.
If money is spent now on equipment, (likely approaching $100,000) such as excavators and trucks to remove his protective rock, along with the cost of the numerous helicopter flights, this will be a stinging slap in the face to Dutch Valley residents.
As the river level is now dropping and all the serious threat has passed, if the RDKS take advantage of this state of emergency to enter Wolds property it might appear to some to be an abuse authoritative powers to punish someone for being so forceful in attempting to get the local government to take responsible action. If in fact the water level is dropping now (as it is) they will have time in the coming low water to responsibly address the issues.
The State of Emergency order was issued at 3 pm Monday and sent out to the Media at 4:30 pm. The river levels were already dropping at that time.Read the five year history culminating in an explosive meeting hereAll flood stories back to 2007 - See pictures of graphs of river levels and snow pack graphs here
The Skeena River at Glen Vowell at 7 am June 16
The Skeena River at 7 am above the Babine River
This demonstrates much of the snow in the headwaters area is now gone.
Comment by James Ippel on 27th June 2012
Where, may I ask, are our representatives in the crisis. I have not heard or seen Nathan Cullen, MP, or Robin Austin, MLA, comment or offer assistance in the flooding situation. This is an immediate, right now, get on it, situation. Instead they are worried about a pipeline, that may or may not be built sometime in the future. People who are up to their asses in water are not worried about an oil pipeline, but really are worried about some help in trying to avoid this in the future.
Why is it that help only comes in forms of emergency aid instead of PREVENTION? Simple answer is that it makes beauacrats look good-see we are here to help you. In this case our representatives seem more conserned with something that might happen in the future.
Hey! I'll go out on a limb. Enbridge will go ahead. Even the Natives will agree because they will benefit from increased financial assistance.
"MONEY TALKS, BS WALKS."
Rocks! They are coming.
Comment by Maria Luppens on 26th June 2012
Looks like Victoria is lending a hand with the situation, and I'm sure local residents are elated that this massive water threat is going to be held back pretty soon. Hopefully all. will go smoothly with the construction and the weather
Comment by chris from away on 26th June 2012
building up dikes just begs for them to be breached with a heck of a lot more water coming through with a current.... which means damage to property.
i would suggest dredging from ferry island to just west of new remo,,,, or maybe a cheaper option would be to remove gravel from hells gate slough and other old side channels that have filled in over the yearsw....this would allow high water to blast past terrace, old remo and new remo.....and a lower gravel bed might result in more rearing pools during low water.... win / win
( if dikes are the only thing people want) i suggested to rdks that when high water starts and flooding is imminent, then they should roll every bit of equipment available in terrace and start (over-) building temporary dikes and then bill the provincial emargency program,,,,
then rdks can then spend their budget money to re-inforce the dikes with armouring rock
then the rest of the province pays for the majority of the cost.....cool, eh
What and whom are we waiting for???
Comment by Maria Luppens on 26th June 2012
I moved here last fall and happened to be lucky enough to live on higher ground. Taking my dog for a walk along the steep edge jutting out into the Kalum just north of Mr. Arnie's property and enjoying the low levels of the river and its beaches I quickly came to realize the menacing force of this river north of this property. Mr. Arnie had realized the probl;em too and reinforced that very tip, which so far is holding. My question is: FOR HOW LONG? Just the lay of the land speaks volumes. MORE reinforcement should have started at that very tip AGES ago, as it had been recognized as a problem area way back when. What really boggles my mind is : WHY HAS NOTHING BEEN DONE?? With each helicopter trip more money is going up into thin air. THAT MONEY SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE RUBBLE AND ROCKS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE LIVELIHOOD OF SO MANY FAMILIES! Tell me what's wrong with me, but I just really don't get this. Maybe my English isn't good enough!
Flood Viewing Etiquette...
Comment by MaggieJo Johnson on 26th June 2012
I appreciate Independent News, as I too was curious about the Evacuation Order coming so late.
But primarily, I was offended with the Evac Alert comment issued by RDKS to help out a neighbor. Just that Dutch Valley has been requesting assistance for sooooo long now from RDKS to no avail with no mandate on RDKS' part to "help out a neighbor".
So, basically...what has RDKS done prior to the potential peak after the Valley has repeatedly petitioned for help PRIOR to flooding? Sit back and let them suffer...and then when it DOES flood, they expect that the neighbors will come thru for the residents while they fly around in choppers making it "look" like they're helping? Just saying.
PS - Kindly avoid cruising around checking out Dutch Valley in "tourist" style. My son was out there last night in 'supportive style ' and reported that the residents need some respect and assistance...not curious gawking eyes which only adds to the turmoiled mix at this time.
Thank you for your compassion and understanding during this most difficult time.