Flooding forces horses to higher ground

Troy is one of several horses been forced to higher ground at the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association because of flooding.

KAMLOOPS - The Clearwater River is under a flood warning after having risen to a one in 20 year flow level but forecasters still believe the North Thompson River will not get much higher and that offers at least a little comfort for those with properties currently flooding in Kamloops.

“When the feeder came Sunday it was dry,” Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association Coordinator Ashley Reid says, pointing to the fenced off areas and walkway between the office and riding area. “By Monday morning most of this was there. I had to walk one of the horses around (to another paddock) because of the water.”

Sunday through Monday the river had risen by about 0.3 metres (about one foot) in Kamloops and another slight rise overnight again Monday. The River Forecast Centre shows the North Thompson River at McLure having dropped slightly from Monday, though it is still at a one in five year flow level.

“I talked to fire rescue and they said it was supposed to crest yesterday and then go down from there,” Reid says, “but it did go up a little more last night, but not significantly.”

The riding association, located on a waterfront property on Crestline Street just east of the airport, has some low points and that causes water to flood some of the paddocks almost every year.

Reid notes the level is about the same as last year so far but the year before they had to move the horses off the property completely which led to cancelled classes as well. The association provides classes to people with mental, physical and emotional disabilities and relies heavily on donations.

“We’ve had to juggle the horses around because they can’t access their water… we have give them water manually,” Reid says. “Hopefully it doesn’t get much worse.”

The eight horses have been moved around and are in more open areas with little shade. The change has made them quite jittery, though Reid says they are doing quite well for the most part.

The property, which is leased from the airport, will need clean up and repairs and Reid is unsure what that will add up to at this point. A lot of fencing is underwater with logs and other debris pushing up against it and they can’t get to the automatic watering system to make sure it is intact either. The electric fencing has been turned off but could be damaged by the high waters as well.

A special weather statement has been issued by Environment Canada noting up to 25 mm of rain is expected in South and North Thompson regions, including Kamloops, on Wednesday. The forecast centre says the rain could affect the river levels as well.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

In addition to putting a lot of paddocks under water flooding at the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association has cut off the main office from the riding ring and stables.
In addition to putting a lot of paddocks under water flooding at the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association has cut off the main office from the riding ring and stables.

-This story was updated at 1:52 p.m., May 27 with the upgrade to flood warning for the Clearwater River and the weather forecast.

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