Receding flood waters reveal extent of damage in B.C.

By Angela Hill

Lloyd Bailey and his wife, Joanne, were salvaging what they could
Joanne and Lloyd Bailey use a metal row boat to salvage what they can from their trailer at Christina Lake. More than a week after the flooding started, the Baileys don't have access dry access to their trailer.
After the flood waters in Grand Forks receeded, homes were left filled with mud
After the flood waters in Grand Forks receeded, homes were left filled with mud, and destroyed belongings. This is kitchen of Anne Byers in-laws. The family pulled together to start cleaning.
Belongings are being piled on the side of the road
Belongings are being piled on the side of the road as the family of Anne Byers in-laws worked to get the house cleaned up. They are not alone.
Recovering after flooding in B.C.
Anne Byers and her brother-in-law Ron Raven pause outside the home of their family in North Ruckle. They spent all day on May 23, cleaning out the living room and kitchen.

As the flood waters in Kootenay Boundary Regional District, B.C., receded, the extent of the damage was revealed.

“It’s muddy and it stinks. There is a film of mud over everything,” said Lloyd Bailey.

He and his wife, Joanne, were salvaging what they could out of their trailer at Christina Lake; walking barefoot, pulling a metal rowboat, through the last foot of water that was still lingering in late May.

The pair had sandbagged against the rising lake, but the berm holding the nearby creek back gave way. Lloyd said it was a lost cause for their trailer, so they gave up and went to help sandbag at other homes nearby. He broke his rib in the process.

In the South Ruckle neighbourhood, one of the hardest hit areas in Grand Forks, furniture was being dragged out of houses and stacked on the side of the road. Residents were wearing gloves and respirators and had to keep moving to keep the swarms of mosquitos at bay.

Anne Byers was working alongside her husband, and her brother in-law, to clean out their parents’ house. At the worst point, there was about four-feet of water inside the home and about six-feet outside. What they found inside once the water had gone was a mess.

“The first thing that hits you is the stink, it’s just disgusting ... everything was jumbled into one corner, the water had pushed it, piled up, soggy, wet, stinky,” she said. “It was ‘oh my god, where do we start.’”

Furniture, dishes, books, papers, and clothes all had to be thrown out.

“There was a leather belt ... it must have been hanging into the water and it was white all the way to the top with mold,” Anne said.

The once white linoleum was black with muck.

“It’s not my place, I’m not sure what my impact would have been if it was my place. It’s hard enough being theirs,” Anne said.

Every so often, her mother-in-law would burst into tears. The only way to get through it is to keep working, she said.

Over in North Ruckle, Marty Menzies only ended up with some water in his basement, but he saw the impact of the flooding on some of his neighbours.

“We’ve sort of tried to get this rebuild Ruckle thing going on so we can help each other out,” he said.

The Canadian Red Cross is supporting the recovery efforts by providing cleanup kit, as well as direct financial assistance to impacted households in need on a case-by-case basis.

If you've been affected by flooding in B.C., find more information on accessing support here.

People wishing to help can make a donation to the B.C. Floods Appeal

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