Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stop the Rain

As others deal with mountains of snow we on Vancouver Island are dealing with massive amounts of rain - unusually high.  In September after a long hot dry summer we were told to ration water as our reservoir that serves three towns may run out.   Today that same reservoir, Comox Lake is overflowing its confines at a 50 year high.  It has rained 150 mm since Monday.  Many in our Comox Valley (Cumberland, Courtenay,Comox) are being evacuated out of their homes if anywhere near 3 of our rivers.  We have two bridges that connect Comox to the rest of Vancouver Island, one has been closed due to flooding along with many businesses in the area.
Borrowed from City of Courtenay


The above picture shows an area approximately two kilometres from our home.  One of these businesses is Value Village and the other a business called The Treasure Shack(Consignment shop), both I frequently visit.  The last two nights two sub-tropical storms(local story here) back to back have pounded the island keeping us up with howling wind and rain pounding against the windows.

After many years in the insurance business this is what I know - flooding is excluded in almost 99% of Canadian insurance policies unlike the USA.  It flat out sucks for anyone experiencing it. I feel for those people.  The estuary we kayaked in a short 3 months ago is now churning with high fall tides, logs and lots of extra water due to the high river feeding into the ocean.  Landslides are happening in nearby towns.
Borrowed from the Parksville Qualicum Beach News

We are fortunately unscathed, choosing to buy our home in an area called the highlands, which is 1000 feet above sea level.  Our home is newer and crawlspace has proven water tight based on the past week.  This morning while driving my stepdaughter to school many fences and trees were down, I was frankly surprised our power was still on.  Tonight it went out but only briefly for 3 minutes, thankfully.

British Columbia does not have a very strong economy, hopefully the rain will stop and life may resume as normal as many businesses are closed at a time when they rely on Christmas sales to make a go of it.

24 comments:

  1. Thinking of you in this terrible weather. Hope the rain stops soon!

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    1. We were so fortunate, where others were not. I just hope we don't have any more weather "incidents" this year.

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  2. Not having insurance for flooding must be terrible in this situation. I remember having a house on a hill in Scotland, but we still had a wee flood one day when I was pregnant, caused by an overflowing guttering! There I was, heavily pregnant, with a mop and bucket, frantically bailing out and hoping that the FH would come home soon to help me!! We live and learn....now we live in well-drained Fenland in East Anglia, and rely on the drainage systems to keep the below-sea-level land dry. Hills look attractive to me at this time of year!

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    1. We did live in one home in Alberta with basement water issues - never again. I agree - home in the hills!

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  3. Oh dear. It's either one extreme or the other these days. We haven't had rain in ages and although I love the warm, dry weather, I'm sure we'll be paying for it eventually with drought conditions and/or spring hurricanes. I'm glad your house is safe and dry. I hope the rain stops soon.

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    1. It has, things are getting back to normal. It makes me so happy to know that we will never have those issues in our current home due to where we bought on the hill.

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  4. The weather is crazy this year...it's Mother Nature fighting back.
    Jane x

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    1. 100 year flood is what they say, I hope I don't have to see it happen again.

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  5. Wow. I hope things ease up. We had flood insurance when we lived in the US, but we paid through the nose for it. I suppose we should be thankful we never had to use it.

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    1. Exactly, insurance is hopefully always something you pay for and never use.

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  6. I'm glued to the radio listening to the reports all around us. Constantly worrying about our primitive drainage system. The only road into town was flooded for a while yesterday. I'll be glad when this is over.

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    1. Hopefully things are better your way Susan. They have gotten much better here in the valley, State of Emergency is now over.

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  7. I am so sorry you are dealing with that much water up there! It is nightmarish! Here in the US, flood insurance is an add-on that many do not do. We do not have it. Those that live in flood plains are REQUIRED to pay it for and it costs dearly.

    Hope you stay dry and do not have to evacuate!

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    1. Our earthquake insurance is similar, an add-on and very high priced, only really required in British Columbia - but we have it just in case. I wouldn't ever want to be financially wiped out because we cheaped out.

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  8. We just went through the same thing here in PEI. Lots of water damage with roads closed and basements full of water. I work in a building supply store and we sold 15 sump pumps in one day. People who have never had water in their basements in 25 yrs. were in buying them! I guess it's better than snow, but not by much.

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    1. Exactly, thank goodness it wasn't snow - people here wouldn't have been able to deal with that at all. Hopefully you have a drier winter!

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  9. I've been reading about the weather out your way - terrible!! I was thinking of you and glad to hear you're "up high"! Keeping my fingers crossed that your area will soon dry up, more or less! So far we've been really lucky here in London. Toronto and other parts north of us got hit with snow but we're still really green around here, probably not for too much longer.

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    1. The river is still really high but flood waters receded - finally! We haven't had any cold weather or it would have been massive amounts of snow.

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  10. Wow, incredible. Hope things get back to normal. We've been in a drought in Costa Rica for a couple years, could really use some of that water.

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    1. We will send it your way Nadine, lol :)

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  11. I've been watching the storm's passage online. Our good friend John went up to the cabin between the last two storms to check things out. Other than my two potted cedar trees on the deck fall over (towards the cabin fortunately, not down into the lake like the fir tree did last month) and the tarps over our quads hanging loose, all was well. We will be back home next week. I bet Powell Lake has risen a lot. Fortunately, the cabin floats up along with it. - Margy

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    1. They say it was a 100 year flood, will be glad to see the backside of it. Have a safe trip home.

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  12. Hope the rain eases up for you guys really soon!

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    1. It has, now clean up is underway, thank goodness.

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