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Water crisis threatens Princeton, already beleaguered by floods

Main reservoir is empty and there is no water for fire protection or consumption
Flooding began Sunday Nov. 14 and caused a break in Princeton’s main water line.

Princeton’s water situation is worsening.

In a community that is still bailing itself out from under the flooded Tulameen River, however today (Nov.17), its biggest crisis is access to water.

“We don’t have fire protection,” said Mayor Spencer Coyne. “The only fire protection we have right now is what we could draw from a pond or river.”

The town’s largest reservoir, located near the Princeton airport just off of Highway 5A, is empty.

Flooding that began Sunday, Nov. 14, caused a break in a main water line, and so far crews have been unable to locate it.

“We have not isolated the leak. We thought we had. We may have multiple leaks,” said Coyne. “We worked through the night trying to keep the water going.”

Two of Princeton’s four wells have been shut down, as the constant demand for water will burn out their pumps.

In some areas water will come out of the tap, however turning those taps on will just further increase the pressure on the system, said Coyne.

In all cases, Coyne is urging residents to not use or drink the water, if they have it. “It’s contaminated.”

Homes on the town’s benches are in slightly better condition, as those residences are currently being served by a separate system.

Related: Princeton struggles through flood clean up without heat and water

Related: Princeton’s most vulnerable residents evacuated by Interior Health, under flood conditions

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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