BC Gov’t Declares Disaster Areas on Northern Vancouver Island and the Central Coast

Floods from record-setting rains along Northern Vancouver Island and the Central Coast have cut off several communities

One of the rainiest Septembers on record has flooded communities on northern Vancouver Island and the Central Coast. On Vancouver Island, Port Hardy received the most flood damage though the town’s transportation and critical infrastructure remains intact and no evacuation order was required. The village of Port Alice, however, was cut off when mudslides washed out the main road. Residents of approximately 85 trailers and homes had to be ferried out or the area by boat.

The village of Hangensborg along the burst banks of the Bella Coola River (photo: Fawn Blake)

On the mainland, the villages of Firvale and Hagensborg seem to have taken the brunt of the rain’s damage. A 100-kilometre stretch of Highway 20 from Anahim Lake to Bella Coola has been flooded out. “Our airport is also out,” said Steven Waugh, program coordinator for the Bella Coola Emergency Operations Centre, “The dike broke above the airport and the runway is out of service. So we’re pretty much cut off right now.” The only ways to get people or supplies in and out of the region now are by boat or helicopter. For the time being, electricity needs in the area will rely on diesel generators according to BC Hydro, though fuel supplies will be hard pressed. The utility is asking residents to conserve electricity and to restrict vehicle use to absolute necessities. CBC News

This Hagensborg gas station is one of many flooded out buildings in the area (photo: Fawn Blake)

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