The Reeb family home on Johnson Road in Silver Creek sits high and dry before flood waters take over. (Kris Reeb photo)

Family evacuated from Silver Creek in Shuswap

Warm temperatures, rain forecast in next week may lead to higher water levels

When Kris Reeb woke up Saturday morning, it was such a beautiful day, he decided to take a photo of his family’s home.

That was at 8:20 a.m. Not long afterward, the admiration came to an abrupt stop. The berm he’d built around the yard and house to prevent flooding broke. By 9:30 a.m., water was already up to the bumpers of his 3/4-ton Dodge pickup truck.

“The creek bends around our property. Before the bend it came up over the bank, flooded the fields and made its way over to the house.”

Reeb, his spouse Laise and their three young children have lived at 3153 Johnson Rd. for less than a year. Theirs is the lowest of four houses in the area.

Reeb says they weren’t told the flooding can get this bad.

“We were told every so often it floods, but it doesn’t usually get by the driveway.”

Related: Silver Creek residents return home

It wasn’t until they’d lived in the house for three months that they learned that it had flooded badly last year and the year before, he says. So he put in a preemptive plan to build a berm and put in a culvert. However, the water turned out to be more powerful than that berm or the vertical culvert with a pump he’d installed.

“It didn’t hold and a lot of the reason was the gravel we got had a lot of loose dirt mixed in it. If it had settled for a couple of years or we got an excavator to pack it down, it might have been OK.”

Instead, the family started scrambling to gather up what they could and get their young children out of the house. Now they’re in Kamloops, staying for the time being with friends. They’ve received help from the Red Cross there.

To make matters worse, “we’re not allowed back in the house as the septic system has flooded.”

Reeb is grateful to his neighbours and to the schools where his two oldest attend. “That’s the good part of this, to know people have got your back.”

He also says his family has no plans to move. “It’s one of those things that happens, we have to deal with it, especially when you’re living in a rural community and we have this beautiful creek running through our yard. Sometimes nature happens.”

Related: Silver Creek rallies to battle flooding

At 587 Salmon River Road, a little to the south, Maria Otting says she is feeling better than last year, when her and spouse Thomas Koppel’s home flooded. They’ve done a lot of work with a berm as well as a four-inch pump to take water out of their field and back into the river.

“I feel like we’re more prepared this year. The terrific stress of last year sucked five years out of my life.”

However, she doesn’t rule out things getting worse.

Related: Silver Creek flood leaves question

It’s a similar story for Florence Seidel and George Swartz in the 1600 block of Salmon River Road. They lost their driveway when the creek that flows down behind them was diverted by workers into the ditch running in front of their place, instead of going under Salmon River Road as it once did. She doesn’t like the plan.

Seidel says they were ordered to pay for their own culvert but, after a neighbour took it to an ombudsman, they were finally reimbursed. As for this year, she doesn’t know what’s going to happen, other than that the water and turbulence in the ditch is high.

“Time will tell.”

Related: Canoe home saved from flooding

Tom Hansen, emergency program coordinator with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, says he’s fielding a lot of calls and encouraging people to have their properties as prepared as possible.

“There’s no way of telling how much rain there’ll be in the next month. Right now, even with heavy snow loads, we’re seeing high stream flows.”

He says the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has reported to him that the Salmon River Bridge is open and under no immediate threat.

At the provincial River Forecast Centre, David Campbell reports that the Southern Interior is under flood watch. Warm weather combined with rain on Wednesday, then more warm temperatures through the weekend could mean a rapid melt.

“So it could be another challenging week in terms of flows across the Interior.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Kris and Laise Reeb (Photo contributed)

Just Posted

Okanagan winery gets global recognition

Mission Hill is being recognized as having one of the top vineyard designs in the world.

Okanagan air quality improves slightly

Index for entire Okanagan Valley rated at 10+, or very high risk, because of wildfire smoke

Controlled burn slows down Snowy wildfire growth

BC Wildfire Service said back burn helped slow wildfire growth near Keremeos

Motorists urged to steer clear of Mabel forest road due to wildfires

Road closure in effect from kilometre 10-59 to give BC Forestry crews space

UPDATE: Okanagan air quality index poor due to smoke

Index for entire Okanagan Valley rated at 10+, or very high risk, because of wildfire smoke

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Man found not guilty in 2011 drug-related shooting in Shuswap

Judge rules Jeremy Davis couldn’t foresee his companion would kill 24-year-old Nick Larsen.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Targeted Enforcement putting pressure on career criminals

RCMP take down another priority offender in Penticton

Parks Canada has ‘general concept’ in mind for South Okanagan-Similkameen

Minister Catherine McKenna will be providing a further update to representatives in Penticton Friday, August 17

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Most Read