Lower Nicola resident concerned about new creek flow near home

By Chad Klassen
August 25, 2017 - 5:27pm Updated: August 25, 2017 - 6:13pm

LOWER NICOLA, B.C. — Guichon Creek is as calm as it will be this year.

However, in May, rapidly increasing temperatures forced a rush of water down the creek, causing it to flood the area and eventually change course. 

Flowing down its new channel, the creek is now close to Angela Miller's home. 

"I feel scared for my house, my children, knowing how the water came from all the way at that tree line to right before my home. It shows how much power it had," said Miller. 

Before May's flood, Miller noted the creek flowed about 1,000 feet from her place. Now it's about 20 feet. She worries about her 4-year-old daughter who enjoys playing in the backyard. 

"She knows not to come any further than the grass, but you just never know," said Miller. "Children are unpredictable. It worries me a lot and I don't want her going out any further because this [ground by the creek] is not stable."

Miller and her husband have been in constant contact with the TNRD, pleading with the regional district to redirect the creek back to its original channel. 

The TNRD says it has put this off with the wildfires taking up most of its man power. But the district says it hasn't made any decisions yet. 

"Just remember that the plan here is multi-stakeholder. There's residents, the TNRD, Ministry of Transporation, there's Forests, Lands and Natural Resources operations, and it's a fish-bearing stream, too," noted Ron Storie, the director of community services with the TNRD. "So that's all going to have a significant effect on what is approved or not and how long it takes."

Down Marshall Road, the washed out bridge remains out of service. The Ministry of Transportation had to remove it in May to allow for better creek flow. The Ministry didn't get back to CFJC Today, but according to residents in Lower Nicola, the bridge won't be rebuilt until next year sometime. 

In the meantime, locals have had to use an old rail bridge to get in and out of the neighbourhood, a hassle and a safety concern for many. 

For her part, Miller hopes the creek is redirected because she says her house could be destroyed if a similar flood event happens again next spring. 

"I'm thankful that my home is safe now, but I honestly believe that if it happened again it would not be."

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