City gets approval for emergency funds to address river valley flooding immediately

The water level in the river valley creek has risen another foot overnight. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Several industrial properties on Frizzi Road are under an evacuation order. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Fast-flowing water continues to erode sections of the banks in the Williams Lake River Valley. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
A portion of the main road in the Williams Lake River Valley was swept away by flood waters Thursday evening, (April 23). (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
The residents of Green Acres Mobile Home park are on evacuation alert. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Industrial properties above the river valley are on an evacuation order. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

The City of Williams Lake has received the go-ahead from the province to begin remediation work immediately in the Williams Lake River Valley, ravaged by spring flooding this week.

Gary Muraca, the City’s director of municipal services, said Saturday morning, April 25, that the province graciously approved funding for up to $550,000 which will allow them to start moving forward with the repairs.

“Crews, equipment and materials will begin to mobilize to the site today (Saturday),” said Muraca, noting the work will be done in collaboration with True Consulting and Peterson Contracting.

Read More: State of emergency declared in Williams Lake due to flooding, erosion in River Valley

As of Friday, April 24, at least six bridges have been compromised by raging flood waters and a section of the road has been completely washed away. Muraca said the flooding is still threatening key City infrastructure in the valley, and it is not safe to work near the water.

“The bulk of the work will be performed when water levels subside.”

Above the river valley, an evacuation order remains in place for 11 industrial properties on Frizzi Road due to erosion of the bank below.

An evacuation alert has also been issued for the Green Acres Mobile Home Park. The mobile park’s 86 homes are not under imminent threat, but residents are advised to prepare for the possibility of having to leave at a moment’s notice.

Additionally, the Scout Island causeway is the other worry for the City, Muraca said, noting they are watching it closely with the possibility of having to close it due to rising water levels.

Volunteers with the Williams Lake Field Naturalists were scrambling Friday to secure the wooden foot bridge between the islands from floating away. That work will continue Saturday, as long as the area remains open.

Cooler weather Saturday is welcomed, however, there is a severe thunderstorm watch with rain in the forecast for the afternoon in Williams Lake.

“It definitely can’t help our situation,” Muraca said.

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