Flood damage leaves some homes along Nanaimo River uninhabitable

WatchDamage from last week's powerful flooding is still being assessed as people begin to cleanup.

Elizabeth McGrath could barely watch what was unfolding out her window in Cedar Tuesday.

“It’s an odd feeling seeing all your stuff in the middle of your yard being assessed,” said McGrath.

Damage assessors went through some of her belongings, including items she’s treasured for decades. They were assessing their loss value.

The items were ruined when floodwaters swept through McGrath’s yard and those of neighbours when the Nanaimo River burst its banks. The flooding led to evacuations and widespread damage on Feb. 1.

Now that floodwaters have receded the damage is becoming more clear. Like hundreds from North Cowichan to Nanaimo, McGrath is still unsure the dollar value on all her losses

“We’re not sure yet,” said McGrath.

“That’s the problem.”

A few doors down from McGrath, Andrew Brydle was burning branches and debris that the river washed under his mobile home. His mobile home is one of four that have now been marked unsafe for occupation since the flood. The water hit the homes with enough force that the foundations are shaky.

“We’re doing what we can we got the cleanup underway,” said Brydle.

“And then we are going to start lifting trailers. Hopefully get everybody back in their homes.”

So many people have been impacted by the flooding that it resembles moving day along the Nanaimo River. There are boxed, bagged belongings out front on patios and driveways. Others have cars, damaged by the waters, waiting to be towed away.

“That’s the last thing we needed,” said Brydle.

“We’re all struggling.”

Yet there is hope for those who were uninsured.

Disaster Financial Assistance is being offered by the province and 50 applications have already come in.

It’s some relief for those still being impacted by this flood long after the water has gone.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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