Cherry Creek residents on flood alert again with more rain

By Chad Klassen
May 11, 2017 - 1:00pm Updated: May 12, 2017 - 12:55am

CHERRY CREEK, B.C. — The flood watch is still in effect around the Thompson region, and with rain falling most of Thursday, concerns are rising, as are water levels along Cherry Creek.

WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

Since the storm last Thursday, residents there have been busy cleaning up their properties. For his part, Arnold Blair is still on alert at his cherry creek home with levels not coming down and more rain on the way. 

"We're probably at our worst now," says Blair. "So if this doesn't come as bad as it did, we can weather the storm. But it's going to be a long, long process to rebuild."

Blair says it's the worst he's seen in 16 years living there. His property is right below Greenstone Road, which got washed out.

All the water ran through his yard and into the basement. It was hammered with five feet of mud, and everything in there has to go.

"I haven't woken up from the dream yet. It's a nightmare, not a dream," says Blair, who was about to put his house on the market and move to Kamloops. "It's been a rough five days. It looks like it's getting worse, and we're trying to keep and salvage what we can. Clean the bridge, clean the waterway, so it flows better. Sandbagging is ongoing, and I got people in the basement ripping walls apart, trying to get in to the exposed wires."

Doreen Prasad, who owns property on Greenstone Road where her daughter lived before the flood, believes removing a barrier could've avoided any unnecessary back-up. 

"Taking one barrier off would've preventing any flow of the water back into my house, my basement, and all the build-up of four feet of gravel," says Prasad. 

Along Lazy Acres Road, activity has settled down after a few frantic days for Corine LeBourdais. The flood waters destroyed her yard and her Boot Tack store, which is full of mud and needs to be rebuilt. 

She says if not for the community's help, her home would be unliveable. 

"Some of the people have risen far above and beyond," she says. "We've had people that have organized everything and organized the whole community, and kept in touch with everybody and moved crews from one place to the other. If it wasn't for the community, there would be nothing left."

LeBourdais says people have received little to no help from the TNRD. Sand was provided by Extreme Excavating in Kamloops and sandbags by local residents. 

The TNRD says it can be difficult to attend to residents right away. 

"To get us up and running with boots on the ground is not immediate unfortunately," says TNRD 'Area J' Director Ronaye Elliott. "I firmly believe that we did it as fast as humanly possible. If we didn't have an EOC going, the folks would've been on their own with the provincial government."

LeBourdais and Blair are now in the process of applying for Disaster Financial Assistance from the B.C. government.

"Because I have a home, and I have a business and a farm, I have to do three different sets of paperwork, and my business, there's a lot of inventory that I lost, so I have to do all that step by step what it was that I lost," notes LeBourdias.

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