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Floodwaters receding, but mark left behind

Shuswap Avenue, and the Kal Tire store, eventually closed Friday as floodwaters took over the road.
Image Credit: Contributed/ Suzanne Smith

LUMBY - The village is looking forward to warm, sunny weather this weekend after flooding forced closure of roads and stores last week.

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton says things are "kind of back to normal" after a hectic few days.

"The creek is still very swollen, but the streets are starting to dry up," Acton says.

Duteau and Bessette creeks overflowed June 20, first flooding properties on Whitevale Road, and later surging into the downtown area. Shuswap Avenue was closed on Friday, leading businesses like Kal Tire to close shop as well.

"I've talked to people who have lived here more than 60 years, they say they've never seen it like this before," Acton says.

Kal Tire manager Wylie Barker recalls running a quick errand Friday morning and coming back to a lot more water than there had been when he left. "The middle of the road was gone, there was a lake in front of the store," he says.

Flooding is an annual concern for Lumby residents, and Barker says the creek always overflows a bit on Shuswap Avenue. "But usually it's just a puddle on the side of the road," he says. "This time it was in our parking lot. That's never happened before."

"There was a whole new creek running from the road, though our commercial bay, back into the creek," Barker says. "A 72-year-old man who gets flooded every year, his house is being demolished."

Employee duties were shifted 100 per cent to sandbagging, and when the road closed, so did the store.

"We've been pretty busy since reopening on Monday with all the people that would have come in over the weekend," he says.

But the loss of a day and a half still hurts. "I hope we'll make up what we lost," Barker says. "We can't afford to lose any time in a town this small."

While the water has receded, a mess of dirt, debris and sandbags has been left behind. "We're looking forward to nice weather on the weekend to sweep out the bays," Barker says.

Once the clean-up is done in the village, Mayor Acton says efforts will be directed at figuring out what combination of things led to the severity of the flooding.

"There were lots of factors," Acton says. "We'll be doing an investigation and keeping in touch with the regional district."

Acton would like to see the Regional District of North Okanagan use a dam to hold back floodwaters and has said "we can definitely mitigate these problems."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230, or tweet @charhelston

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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