An aerial view of Williams Lake taken this week shows a greener landscape than July 2017. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

EDITORIAL: Reflecting on the rain

Williams Lake area looks a lot different than it did in July 2017

The last few weeks I’ve been thinking of my former days.

I moved here in the fall of 2011 after living in Prince Rupert where on average 2,551 millimetres of rain falls annually.

Summers were cooler and some days were very wet, but we adapted and got good at getting out when it stopped raining, or embracing the rain because some days it never stopped.

A friend said to me the other day that the rain we’ve been having in the Cariboo Chilcotin was depressing her and asked how I survived living in Rupert all those years?

I don’t really know how we did, but the upside was the great air, all that green and your summer clothes and footwear sure lasted. And, we rarely washed our cars.

As the rain poured down on Sunday, July 7, I imagine most of us were thinking how drastically different it was compared to the same day in 2017 when lightning striking tinder dry conditions caused a wildfire season we will never forget.

On Tuesday I flew with Highland Helicopters to the confluence of the Big Creek and the Chilcotin River to see the flooding. Our route took us over some of the areas burned in 2017 that are now really greening up.

Read more: Several roads remain washed out due to flooding west of Williams Lake

I thought about what a difference two years can make — even what a difference a week can make.

When the Cariboo Regional District celebrated the opening of a new accessibility trail at Bull Canyon Provincial Park on July 3, the Chilcotin River was running clear and green in the photos they sent out with a press release.

Within a couple of days significant rain began to fall, to the tune of 100 mm in five days, causing the Chilcotin River below Big Creek to exceed 200-year-record levels and its tributaries, such as Big Creek to exceed 50-year-record levels. It’s not been green at all — just muddy and full of debris.

As our neighbours to the west grapple to come to terms with agricultural and economic fallout from the flooding, here in Williams Lake it’s hard to complain about rain.

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Angel Moore prepares to plant some gai lan in her Potato House Sustainable Community Society’s garden box. She harvested her bok choy Tuesday as seen on her right and said it’s best cooked with oil, salt, water and covered so it doesn’t brown. Monica Lamb-Yorsk photo

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