Heavy flooding and road closures forces Sooke into temporary isolation

WatchFrom flooded basements to power outages and an entire campground underwater, the District of Sooke wrestled with extreme weather it hasn't seen in years. Kevin Charach reports.

By sunrise, heavy flooding caused officials to close a section of Highway 14 between Impala and Gillespie roads — the main route in and out of Sooke.

The District of Sooke announced later Monday that the road reopened both ways and for drivers to expect delays.

Meanwhile, East Sooke Road had opened to single-lane alternating traffic near Beecher Bay.

Sooke’s Emergency Operations Centre was activated at approximately 9:30 a.m. to help with planning and logistics surrounding the extreme weather event. A free sandbag station was made available for residents in need and Sooke Fire Rescue was mobilized in the event of a medical emergency.

Daniel Baker has lived in Sooke for nearly three decades and says he’s never seen the Sooke River flow like it did quite like Monday.

“It’s definitely the highest that I’ve ever seen it since I lived here,” said Baker.

The rising, rushing water even fully submerged the Sooke River Campground.

“Usually….the Sooke River Campground will flood, but it’s made it all the way across to the entrance of the campground and it doesn’t usually make it that far,” said Baker.

Meanwhile, Zach Farrelly spent most of his day desperately trying to save his creekside property.

“It basically over-flooded and just started going over the walls and going all the way down and into underneath our crawl space,” said Farrelly, who lives in a mobile home. “Then our whole park was a river too…it was crazy.”

Farrelly says he and his neighbors were waist-deep in the frigid water trying to clear basins and drains, using roughly 100 sandbags supplied by the district to keep their homes at bay.

“It was definitely frightening, it was not one of those experiences one would like to have.”

Several other Sooke residents like Bradyn Detta woke up to a pool of water in their basement.

“There was a foot-and-a-half of water,” said Detta.

He says he called around for professional help but everyone was booked so he and his partner used various items including a boogie board to help remove the water.

Also spotted was a kayaker paddling on the flooded waters, and one man posted online offering his truck, sandbags and volunteers to anyone in need.

For updated information on road closures in Sooke, click here.

A man takes a kayak for a trip on a flooded Sooke road Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

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Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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