EDITORIAL: Flooding cannot be ignored

Flooding has become an almost regular occurrence at this time of the year, so word that Cooke Creek in the Kingfisher area burst its banks Friday came as no surprise.

Emergency personnel were immediately on scene, ensuring that residents were receiving the assistance they needed, and for that, they deserve our praise and thanks.

But instead of just mobilizing an emergency response every year, there needs to be action to minimize the prospect of flooding as much as possible.

However, the provincial government continues to ignore its responsibility.

Victoria has indicated the Regional District of North Okanagan must initiate a feasibility study on improvements on Ashton Creek, and one would assume, all other creeks where flooding could occur. However, RDNO officials, and rightly so, have stated creeks and flooding are provincial mandates and the costs of upgrades and liabilities could be downloaded on to the district if it does the study.

Also, it is the provincial government that has the authority to go into creeks and physically do any work, not the regional district or municipalities.

Debris played a role in the Cooke Creek flood Friday, and the situation is a reminder of the threat fast-moving water poses to lives, property and public infrastructure such as roads.

Also, some preventative efforts could reduce the last-minute costs that seem to arise every year when officials are reacting to an emergency.

It is time for Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo and his provincial government colleagues to get serious about flooding and stop passing the buck on to other jurisdictions.



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