At a press conference today (May 13) we receive quite a bit more information about what is coming in the way of Disaster Financial Assistance at at press conference with the Solicitor General of British Columbia Mike Farnsworth. Afterwards I spoke with the Mayor and found out that he had signed the decree letting higher levels of government know this should be considered an official disaster. Back on Wednesday. And apparently it was posted . . . somewhere. But my head was too far up my own butt to go looking I guess. Same with almost everyone else in town. You can find out more in the press release on the City website.
The Bad News first
There have been a number of posts, on social media, of links to a Provincial website page about Disaster Financial Assistance.
Alas this is a page from LAST YEAR. As far as I know we are NOT an official Disaster YET (noon May 13,2018).
And until we are: those who have lost a lot with flooding, and are not covered by their insurance, are on their own.
Why aren’t we even on the list yet? Who needs to initiate that?
If it’s the Mayor then there are very many people who would appreciate his doing so instead of telling the outside world we are doing well.
UPDATE: After the May 13, Farnsworth presser I talked with him and he said he had done this a few days back and it had been publicized but apparently in a place where most of, if not all, the public don’t go.
Without him appearing in news and in person doing and saying positive things when needed and negative things when needed more and more people are beginning to wonder about our Mayor. The rumours going around about this are growing and feeding the anger and frustration. This is stuff he could avert by showing up with the volunteers and facing the music.
In fact there’s an online petition to have him removed.
If it isn’t the Mayor’s job to pull the trigger on the DFA then maybe the Mayor should light a fire under the butt of whomever that is because people are hurting and in limbo and could use some indication there’s a light at the end of this tunnel, that there will be a financial rescue of some sort once the water clears away.
UPDATE: Disaster Financial Assistance will be made available . . . eventually. But not until a more full assessment is done and that can’t happen until the disaster is over and all that might take a little while. Read possibly weeks. Meanwhile people’s bills and mortgages have ticking clocks that don’t care all that much about pesky things like disasters.
The Worse News
It’s May 13 and even though the water has gone down downtown and business owners have been able to get to their places to assess the damage but it isn’t time to clean-up just yet.
The flood is not over. There will be another peak in flow in a few days. And forecasts say this may be larger than the last one Thursday night . . .
In the sidebar on the right you will see a link to the CLEVER system. There are 3 monitoring stations related to the stream flows for our rivers. This is the part of the BC map that shows those.
The two dots on the left side are West Kettle (orange/brown) and Kettle (pink). The one near Grand Forks is the Granby.
What do these stations show on Sunday May 13? (the red portions to the right of the vertical dashed line are forecasts – guesstimates)
Keep in mind that the graphs show Flow Rates not Water Levels. Water Levels are harder to estimate because as the flooding progresses it scours and the landscape that forms catchment areas changes in shape and capacity.
But it does show we will see another hump in water levels in a few days. Possibly a bit higher than what we just got drenched by.
So what does that mean to people whose homes or businesses got a drenching but aren’t a total write-off?
You may be able to get in now while the water is low but don’t bother cleaning up because you’ll likely just have to do it all over again next week. If you can move more things higher or out of the property that’s a good idea. If you didn’t have an adequate sump pump now is the time to think about doing something about that. Before the water floods you out again.
Many people have experienced flooding in spite of the sandbags around their buildings. Some of this is groundwater coming up through the basement.
The sandbags aren’t useless but they aren’t the whole protection scheme. They slow the water ingress a lot by limiting it to other means of access and that allows your sump pump to spit it out – hopefully at a faster rate than the inflow is happening. Think of your basements and crawl spaces as buffer zones that will possibly fill with water but may be all that will fill – if your sump pump can keep up.
IF you have a gas powered portable generator then use that because the power could go away at any moment while flooding is happening.
IF you’re removing items that have been in the flood waters please rinse them off with clean water because the residue left behind has contamination of unknown type and quantity.