Heavy flooding around the province has also hit the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.
On Monday (Nov. 15), the Regional District of Nanaimo issued evacuation orders for the following areas near the Englishman River and the Nanaimo River:
• 380 Martindale Rd., RDN Electoral Area G;
• 246 Riverbend Rd., RDN Electoral Area G;
• Riverside Resort and Waters Road near the Little Qualicum River in RDN Electoral Area G;
• Portions of Wilkinson Road, Alice Road and Riverside Road, RDN Electoral Area A.
A map of impacted areas can be viewed at rdn.bc.ca/emergency-alerts. Residents living in the impacted areas who were at home were contacted directly by area fire departments and search and rescue agencies to assist with evacuations.
All residents are asked to leave the area immediately and register at the closest reception centre: Parksville Community Centre at 132 East Jensen Ave.; Qualicum Beach Civic Centre at 747 Jones St., or the Cedar Community Hall at 2388 Cedar Rd.
The RDN emergency call centre is open today until 6 p.m. to answer questions regarding flooding in the region at 250-390-0940 and open again from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 16.
Residents in low-lying areas are encouraged to take precautions and if flooding occurs, move to higher ground. Stay away from river and stream banks as fast moving water conditions are very dangerous.
In Parksville, Martindale Road residents had to deal with what has become a familiar annual occurrence when the Englishman River swelled and began to overflow.
Many of those impacted live in nearby mobile homes and RVs at Pathfinder Camp Resorts (formerly Parry’s RV Park).
One resident, Heather Rathburn, said early Monday morning she noticed the water had gone up on the steps of her mobile home. She quickly grabbed her dog and used her kayak to leave the area.
“I have about five steps that come up to my porch and the porch is about five-feet high,” Rathburn said. “It (the water) covered the first two bottom steps, so I grabbed my kayak and my dog and kayaked up the road as far as I could.”
Rathburn endured a similar situation last year but didn’t expect it to happen at this point in the year.
“I don’t know if any of us were really prepared for it to come this early in the year and I don’t think anyone was expecting it.”
Arrowsmith Search and Rescue personnel were called shortly after noon to help evacuate some of the residents.
Among those who had to leave their RV home were Mike and Glynis Irwin and their pet dog Bree. They had been staying at Pathfinder during the last five days as they were visiting family in Parksville. They didn’t expect flooding.
“It was getting bad out there,” said Glynnis “The RV moved a little bit so we were concerned it was going to float away. Everything was covered with water by 11 a.m.”
Parksville’s emergency program co-ordinator, Aaron Dawson, was also at Martindale Road to assist residents evacuated from their homes. A bus was stationed to drive the evacuees to the Parksville Conference Centre where they are registered, are given a place to stay for 72 hours and provided essential needs.
In Qualicum Beach, members of the Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department were on hand helping residents evacuate from the Cedar Grove RV Park and Campground (on Riverbend Road). At 1:10 p.m., all but one of the affected residents were evacuated.
Dashwood crews were also on hand at Riverside Resort in Qualicum Beach as its residents deal with flood waters.
Evacuees were taken to the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.