Sahtlam Avenue was also flooded over the weekend, just one block beyond at its intersection with Pine Street. The Town of Lake Cowichan's public works team resolved the obstacle by removing concrete barriers which had closed Comiakin Avenue to traffic to and from Sahtlam not far from the roundabout. (Kathryn Swan photo)

Heavy rain brings flooding to Lake Cowichan

Town hands out sandbags to concerned citizens

After a week of almost constant rain, Lake Cowichan faced flooding problems over the weekend as the river and lake overflowed their banks.

Kathryn Swan, a regular contributor to the Lake Cowichan Gazette, reported that on Saturday, Jan. 2, the marsh at the west end of the pickleball courts on Cowichan Avenue East had overflown its banks and submerged the corner of Poplar Street and Cowichan Avenue East.

She said that in past years during flooding events, traffic had been detoured along Sahtlam Avenue, but this time Sahtlam Avenue was also flooded, just one block beyond its intersection with Pine Street.

“Luckily the town public works team resolved the double obstacle by removing concrete barriers which had closed Comiaken Avenue to traffic to and from Sahtlam, not far from the roundabout,” Swan said.

“It was rough and muddy, but it was the only way to go. The muddy detour along Comiaken Avenue was somewhat crowded when there was two-way traffic.”

RELATED STORY: CVRD MONITOR FLOODING IN COWICHAN REGION, ADVISES THOSE IN LOW-LYING AREAS TO BE PREPARED

The town’s CAO, Joe Fernandez, said he wasn’t aware of any houses or businesses being flooded over the weekend, but a lot of people with waterfront properties were expressing concerns about rising water levels.

“We provided sandbags to those that needed it,” he said.

“It was a pretty normal event for this time of year, and the heavy rains stopped on Sunday. It didn’t last as long as I thought it would here, but I understand areas around Duncan fared much worse.”

While rain is forecast to continue in the Valley through the first week of the new year, Fernandez said periodic flooding is common in Lake Cowichan and the town will deal with it as best as it can.

“We’re living in an area adjacent to water,” he said.

“When the water overflows its banks, there’s little that we can do.”

On Saturday, B.C.’s River Forecast Centre upgraded its high stream-flow advisory for eastern Vancouver Island to a flood watch as the rain continued.

Shortly after the flood watch was issued, Cowichan Tribes issued an evacuation order for the Wil’seem Road and Sahilton Road areas near Duncan.

Other areas that were on evacuation alert on Saturday afternoon included Quamichan west, Clem Clem, Tyup Road, Joe Road, Green Point and Khenipsen Road.

RELATED STORY: WORST FLOODING IN 15 YEARS HITS LAKE COWICHAN

Last year, during the first few days of February, Lake Cowichan had the worst flooding event in the past 15 years after a heavy rain and windstorm struck the Cowichan Valley, causing the Cowichan Valley Regional District to call a state of emergency.

The flooding forced the evacuation of 23 people in the Crofton area, and the closure of a number of roads, including the Trans-Canada Highway between Nanaimo and Duncan, as well as the Pacific Marine Circle Route from Cowichan Lake to Sooke, and Cowichan Bay Road.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

flooding

Just Posted

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) were deployed to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device on Jan. 20. (Google/Screencap)
UPDATED: Bomb disposal unit still determining nature of suspicious device found on Salt Spring Island

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

The Rogers Creek Trail main trailhead is located on the Redford Extension in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hiker rescued after cold few hours in the bush outside Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad said they receive frequent calls for people lost on this trail

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Hecht Beach cabin in ashes. (Submitted)
Beloved secret cabin lost to fire on the North Island’s west coast

The trappers cabin was shared with locals, but kept mostly secret

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Most Read