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

UBCO Heat men’s and women’s basketball squads bounce over MacEwan

The women got their first win of the season, while the men keep their playoff hopes alive

Surrey man fined $10,000 by Kelowna’s Provincial Court

The man was convicted for three Wildlife Act offences after shooting a bull moose not in season

West Kelowna Warriors fall short to Vernon

The Warriors lost 1-0 in the hard fought battle

Rockets snap streak, shutout Everett 2-0

Kelowna got their first win in seven games against the second best team in the league.

Women’s march to be held in Kelowna today

The march takes place at 11:30 a.m. at the Dolphins

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read