Hesco baskets were first used outside the Cache Creek fire hall in 2020 (pictured), and have once again been put in place as a pre-emptive measure to safeguard the hall against possible flooding. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Cache Creek taking pre-emptive measures to prevent flooding

Sand and sandbags will soon be available for all residents who need them

No one knows what this year’s flood season will look like, but the Village of Cache Creek is taking pre-emptive measures to be prepared, as the weather warms up and the freshet starts.

Quartz Road has been closed at the junction with Highway 1 adjacent to the fire hall, and will remain closed until further notice. The road is still accessible from Highway 97. That area has been hard-hit by flooding in past years, with Cache Creek overflowing at the culvert under Quartz Road. On the night of April 18, 2021 water breached the culvert, but there was no flooding.

Floodwater has damaged the nearby fire hall more than once, most recently in July 2020. In order to protect the building, a row of Hesco baskets has been placed in front of it. The baskets are collapsible containers made of wire mesh with a heavy duty fabric liner, which can be filled with sand, soil, or gravel and used as flood protection.

Alana Peters, deputy director of the Cache Creek Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), says that sand and sandbags will soon be available for any residents who want them. These will be located by the old recycling centre (across from the post office); beside the Cache Creek Library; at the end of Nugget Road; at Sage and Sands Trailer Park; and at the Cache Creek park.

“We can’t have sandbag bees because of COVID-19,” she says. “However, anyone who wants bags can go and fill what they need when they’re available.

“And last year some people went and filled bags and left them for whoever needed them, so if you want some exercise you can do that.”

Peters says that when the sand and bags are available, the information will be posted on the village’s Facebook page at Cache Creek-Info. The village will be monitoring water levels several times each day, and Peters notes that if there is a sudden change, that information will also be posted on the Facebook page.

The EOC will not be activated unless there is an imminent threat. Peters says that if it is necessary to place properties on Evacuation Order, affected residents will be contacted directly.

“People should be prepared, regardless of whether you live on the river or not,” she cautions. “We live in a volatile environment.” It is a good idea to create “grab-and-go” bags for each member of your household, containing essential items such as medication and glasses, that you will need if you are asked to evacuate.

Don’t forget about pets and their medications. Peters says that pet-friendly accommodation can be found for any evacuees who have pets with them.

She also advises people to stay well back from riverbanks unless they are sandbagging, because of the danger of bank erosion and undercutting.

“If you are placing sandbags, don’t do it by yourself. Have someone else with you, and wear flotation devices or make sure you’re tied off.

“We’re just watching and waiting at this point, but we feel better prepared than in previous years. We’re being proactive, rather than reacting.”

More information and tips are available in PreparedBC’s Flood Preparedness Guide, which contains useful information to help British Columbians understand what to do if their home or community is at risk of flooding. The guide is available online at www.preparedbc.ca/floods.

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Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal