People living near the Nanaimo river say they didn’t suffer as much damage Monday as they have in previous floods, despite water levels being much higher this week.
A glimpse inside Wayne Dunbar’s shed shows the items he was able to protect in the lead-up to Monday’s flood. He says he suffered less damage from this flood.
“A lot better because we were prepared well as prepared as you could get. I mean there’s all kinds of stuff we left outside because we thought they will be alright. These things were up on the road. They were gone,” said Dunbar.
In February 2020, the neighbourhood suffered extensive damage when the Nanaimo River overflowed its banks. But on Monday, while the water was up to a foot higher, there was much less damage.
Alan McPhee says a warning by the RDN’s Alert System Sunday afternoon was an immense improvement from the last flood.
“We took the alert seriously that the regional district put out and we took as much precaution as we could. We took our car out of the garage took it up the hill so it wouldn’t be affected. We’ve had that problem before,” said McPhee.
The RDN is buoyed to hear their emergency notification system initiated a year ago is working well.
“I think it’s really good. The Voyent tool is for the public so it’s something our emergency services centre uses and we’re very careful within the sense that we don’t want to issue alerts when it’s necessary,” said Daniel Pearce, the RDN’s general manager of Transportation and Emergency Services.
Others say accurate weather forecasts about the rainfall and the fact the river rose this time during the daytime also helped people take preventative action.
The owner of Riverside mobile home park says he’s raised the land under some of the homes over the past couple of years, which also helped.
“I think we fared pretty well. People are back in their homes 24 hours later. we were able to get power to the park within 24 hours of the storm. We did quite well. There’s not a lot of damage,” said Dwayne Beausoleil, the park’s owner.
The Regional District of Nanaimo says the area has been identified as hazardous and it’s been limiting any additional development to ensure storm damage doesn’t increase.