Another creek above Salmon Valley Road took a new path over the weekend, jeopardizing properties and the road below.
About 6 p.m. Friday, Kristie Clark, who lives in the 2100 block of Salmon River Road, called the RCMP emergency line, letting them know about the threat from above.
Residents had noticed a creek starting to run through a neighbour’s shop and down the neighbour’s road. It was headed toward Salmon River Road and another neighbour’s home.
Residents got to work up the road with tractors, shovels and sandbags, diverting the water to a less destructive path.
As well as potentially taking out the house, Clark predicts “it would have gone right across Salmon River Road had we not, as a community, fixed it.”
Clark said she is shocked that she received no response from any official until 9 a.m. Saturday, when someone called to ask ‘how are things going?’
The residents’ experience with a bursting creek is similar to that of residents in the 1600 block of Salmon River Road. People from 10 homes there were evacuated overnight on April 22. Some homes are without driveways after crews diverted what’s known as Andrew Brook or Anderson Creek by creating a ditch along the roadway to carry the water along. That was done after a decommissioned logging road sloughed and the runoff causing the slough jumped into the existing creek, so residences below were threatened.
In Clark’s case, the new creek is also heading down a ditch alongside the road, which leaves them without a driveway.
Clark operates Salmon Valley Daycare. Her spouse Andrew jokes that they’ll have to call it Salmon Valley Adventure Campground and zipline the kids over the ditch.
Kristie is concerned about proposed logging above Salmon River Road and the part logging and an existing logging road may have played on the creek changing course.
So is neighbour Barb Lepain.
“Now they want to log right down behind our homes.”
Both Kristie and Andrew emphasize they are not targeting loggers, but the people who make the decisions about logging.
“It’s not the people down the street who are loggers,” says Kristie.
“There are lots of places to log so people don’t have creeks running through their property,” adds Andrew.
Tolko Industries, meanwhile, says it will be consulting with residents.
In an email reply to the Observer, Janice Lockyer, Tolko’s communications advisor, wrote: “With regards to Silver Creek and our 2017 information sharing referral, we understand that residents have concerns and we want to reiterate, once again, that we’re at the start of our planning process in this area and it will be approximately three years before we have a thorough understanding of the proposed area and whether we can implement a plan that allows us to harvest in a safe and sustainable manner. During our study phase, we remain open to consultation and we are working on a plan to meet with concerned residents of the area once we have conducted our field work. We will be releasing details on that process soon.”
Regarding the 2100 block of Salmon River Road, she stated: “It is difficult to say at this point what the role of logging may or may not have played in the increased stream flow experienced on the existing creek. We are currently assessing a number of our cutblock areas and once we have completed our assessments, we will have a better understanding of the role, if any, of logging and the measures required to deal with any issues we find.”