The flood alerts are over and the sand bags are being cleaned up, but the Ministry of Transportation is still water-logged.
Two critical transportation routes in the BX — East Vernon and Tillicum roads — still remain closed to through traffic although the high water that caused damage to culverts is long gone.
The situation has meant a long, roundabout detour for residents trying to access their homes or to get into Vernon to work or shop. It has also been difficult for guests to access Cedar Falls Campground, a significant issue during the height of the tourism season.
But more importantly, the closure of the two roads has limited the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department’s ability to respond during an emergency. That not only could impact property, but lives could be at risk. Also consider that much of the BX sits in the forest interface and a quick response will be required during a wildfire.
We fully understand that the last month has been extremely busy for the ministry, with flooding causing substantial damage to roads and highways in Ashton Creek, Sicamous and other areas.
But to keep ignoring the situation facing BX residents is unacceptable. It should be pointed out that rural residents pay taxes to the provincial government for a basic level of service and that part of the deal is not being fulfilled.
In the end, one has to wonder why BX residents are not receiving the respect they deserve?
Would the response time have been different if someone from the ministry lived on one of those roads?
—The Morning Star