Sunday, July 1, 2012

UPDATE:  Tyaughton Lake Rd - Crane Creek Debris Flow, Canada Day July 1
The Tyaughton Lake Road was reopened for one lane traffic on Friday, June 30.  A temporary culvert was installed.  Ministry of Transportation is responsible for all issues related to the road and its repair and sub contracted out the work to Interior Roads.
Thankfully the tourism operators and businesses were able to operate through the Canada Day weekend without losing any further business as a result of the road closure.
I have been up to the area twice, the latest on Saturday June 30.  I took these photos.  I, along with the residents below the road in this area have some concerns regarding the grade of the road and the effectiveness of the temporary culvert.  When I was there the water was very muddy with many rocks and debris still coming down in the flow, running hard, close to moving over into the previous channel above the road.  I will follow up next week on timelines for the full repair of the road and this culvert.

In the meantime, SLRD through Emergency Management BC has undertaken to redig the creek channel in its previous location down to several hundred feet from the shore.  In addition work has been done above the road.  When I was there on Saturday, Friburg Recreation Site, also heavily damaged by the debris flow was being repaired.
Sadly the biggest impact is and continues on with several residents and their properties below the road.  In one case 6 inches to a foot of mud covers their entire property  along with huge rocks everywhere.  There is mud up against one of the homes, mud in one room of one of the buildings.  The other two properties have mud and rock everywhere as well.
For those of you who have property near creeks and on alleuvial fans, your house insurance will very likely not cover debris flow scenarios such as this.  Such is the case here, while fully insured, these residents have discovered their insurance does not cover this situation .  To make matters worse, these residents almost assuredly will not receive Disaster Financial Assistance from the province as they are part time residents, the mud and so on did not enter their homes and so on.
Ryan Wainwright, SLRD Emergency Manager is putting together a recovery plan.  Several of the giving charities will be appealed to and other sources of funding for expenses such as machine oil & gas and so are being looked into.  There will be a role for volunteers to help dig out along walls and in the basement room and so on.   There has been at least one offer of a machine for costs only.    One of the owners cried when I said I would help organize a work party to do the hand digging when the time comes.   Our neighbors are enduring a shock, devastation of property they treasure and a whole lot of hard work in front of them.  I admire their ability to keep moving forward in such heart and back breaking circumstances.My heart goes out to all of them.
And finally if you take a drive up to Tyaughton Lake you will see that everyone on the lake is now  impacted.  The amount of mud, rock and debris that has and continues to flow into the lake has made the water pretty muddy and with some sheen to it. 
Noone has escaped the impacts of this debris flow. 
Special thanks to Brad Bushill, Area Manager, Ministry of Transportation and Ryan Wainwright, SLRD Emergency Program Manager for their diligent efforts to move through all of the challenges this emergency has presented.
I will update as new information is available.