Residents who have appreciated Scout Island during the COVID-19 pandemic will be happy to learn the City of Williams Lake, in collaboration with the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, will reopen Scout Island to vehicle and pedestrian traffic at noon Tuesday, May 5.
The decision was made to reopen the popular recreation site, closed due to high water flows on April 23, after flood waters significantly subsided over the past few days. Visitors are asked to respect the posted signs and exercise caution around specific trails, which may still be under water.
“We realize how important it is for people to get out and enjoy nature for their physical and mental health, especially during these times of COVID-19,” said Matt Sutherland, manager of public works. “We are pleased to open up this valuable park space to provide an outlet for our residents.”
The City had closed Scout Island to protect critical water infrastructure, after flooding led to road washouts and unsafe conditions.
Pedestrian access was also restricted after several trails, including Otter Point and the Willow Trail, were under water.
Meanwhile, the City has extended a State of Local Emergency for the River Valley due to the flooding and erosion, which has washed out sections of the road, made at least 16 bridges impassable and resulted in a ruptured sewer pipe.
Residents are reminded to keep water use – such as baths, laundry, dishwashing and toilet-flushing — to a minimum to reduce the flow into the sewage treatment facility as crews continue to work on repairing the damage.