Record-Breaking Flooding Hits Chilcotin Region of British Columbia

    Flood damage along Taseko Lake Road in the Chilcotin region (Photo courtesy of BC Transportation and Infrastructure)

    While much of the Yukon Territory is up in smoke, many parts of the Chilcotin region in British Columbia have recently dealt with record-breaking floods.

    Tsilhquot'in National Government Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse says many communities along the Chilcotin River in central-west British Columbia are flooded out after over a hundred millimetres fell in the region over the past several days.

    With all the rain, Tribal Chair Alphonse says flooded roads have now meant many areas of the Chilcotin are now impassable to vehicles and other traffic. He says historical records show  flooding currently being seen seen in the region only happens once every 200 years.  

    Tribal Chair Alphonse says many residents in proximity to the river are feeling the impacts of the floods.

    "We've had extreme flooding now throughout the region. One of our communities has been isolated, but they're making their way  through by taking the old wagon roads. The other community of Big Creek has been completely cutoff as the roads have been washed out. We're facing a lot of water in the area."

    Tribal Chair Alphonse also highlights that travelers in the area should take extreme caution, and should only think of accessing any parts of the backcountry if they have a 4X4.

    Tribal Chair Alphonse says recent fires to hit the region are also making the situation worse.

    "To have the amount of water coming in after the 2017 fires that came through our territory, there's nothing to hold the water back now."

    Hay production is also expected to be impacted this year with many of the local ranches underwater. 

    Tribal Chair Alphonse  says grass and shrubs are also falling off vegetation from the fires that hit the region years ago, giving off a dark-black colour to the normally bright green-turquoise Chilcotin River.

    Tribal Chair Alphonse says those impacted by the floods should have patience as heavy equipment is sent into the region to repair local infrastructure.

    The Tsilhquot'in National Government was established in 1989 to meet the needs and represent the six local First Nation communities making up the area.

     

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