Robert Bell, assistant manager of operations at the Municipality of North Cowichan, checks the drains in a parking lot of the Falcon Nest Motel after a water main break causes major flooding Thursday morning. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Duncan motel parking lots flood after water main break

But major damage to building avoided

Darcy Bueckert couldn’t believe his eyes Thursday morning just before 9 a.m. when water starting pouring into the parking lots at the Falcon Nest Motel.

Bueckert, the new manager at the motel, said the water was coming in so fast, it looked like a creek had been diverted toward the building.

“I started knocking on the doors of the motel rooms and told those staying in them to get everything off the floor that they wanted to save and then cleared the building” he said.

“I called [the Municipality of North Cowichan] and workers were on the scene pretty fast. They said there was a broken water main around York Road and the highway and they were trying to find the valve to turn off the water.”


Robert Bell, North Cowichan’s assistant manager of operations, was on scene and was working so fast to try to stop the flooding before it cleared the sidewalks in the parking lots and entered the building that he was wading through the water in his socks and shoes as there was no time to put on rubber boots.

He said the valve to turn the water off to the broken main was under water and staff had to use a metal detector to find it as he worked to ensure the drainage pipes in the parking lots were working effectively.

“It’s complicated trying to find the valve under water,” he said just as the valve was found, the water turned off and the water started to recede just before it reached the top of the sidewalk.

“We’ll have to dig up the water main and repair it.”

Bueckert thanked the quick efforts of the workers from North Cowichan for preventing the flood from reaching the motels rooms, even as he faced a major clean up of the parking lots.

“It was impressive to watch them work,” he said.

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The parking lots at the Falcon Nest Motel were flooded Thursday morning after a water main broke. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Workers from the Municipality of North Cowichan watch as the water begins to recede in the parking lots at the Falcon Nest Motel after they were flooded Thursday morning due to a break at a nearby water main. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

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