Malahat highway flooding photograph by Nicholas Arnold, Vista Radio Staff
Page last updated at 9:15pm, November 15, 2021
After an onslaught of several days of rain, it has subsided, but the region is still coping with the ramifications of such a tremendous amount of rainfall. A State of Local Emergency is still in effect for the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
An evacuation centre has been set up at the Cowichan Community Centre, those looking to use it are asked to enter from the library side of the building.
North Cowichan released an update heading into the evening of November 15, laying out the path forward for the area.
The release says, “The rain has subsided and clear skies are forecast for the next few days. Heavier rain to the west is still making its way down rivers and streams, and impacting low lying areas.
“Residents are asked to continue to exercise extreme caution around water, and heed signs and warnings in place around closures and hazards.”
The Municipality says the Cowichan River’s levels are exceeding the 2009 and 2020 floods, and the Somenos flood plain is at its highest level to date.
North Cowichan released the following roads are still closed, as of their 7pm update on November 15.
- Canada Ave (Sherman Rd to Co-op Gas Station)
- Mary St (by Bings Creek)
- Chemainus River at intersection of Crofton & Chemainus Rds. All access to area closed.
- Westholme Rd by Bell McKinnon and Nimmo Rd areas
- Trans Canada Ave SB by Green Rd
- Lakes Rd at Beverly (detours and flaggers in place)
- Mays Rd between Herd Rd & Bell McKinnon
- Mays Rd south of Herd Rd
- Escarpment Way
- Norcross Rd between Anzio and Westcott
- Tzouhalem Rd from Lakes Rd to Brier Rd
The Malahat also remains closed for the time being. The Malahat drive is likely to be affected by this flood for some time even after the water clears out. So says an EmCon worker at the closure just north of Goldstream Park.
Erosion has caused the road to dip a few inches at the site of an under-road cauldron at the site. There is also a crescent shaped cutout several meters long cutting into the road face. The EmCon worker says they’ll have to do an assessment of the road stability mostly affecting northbound traffic. He says the most likely way forward would be the opening of the southbound lane and alternating traffic through until the Northbound lane is deemed safe. No timetable was given on when it may reopen, but that would be the likely first steps back to normalcy.
Those still looking to get to or from Victoria are monopolized to the Brentwood-Mill Bay ferry route. The ferry service will be running throughout the night of the 15th to shuttle passengers across the Saanich Inlet. Schedule below.
BC Transit have also announced their Malahat and Shawnigan Lake commuter trips also known as routes 66 and 99 will not be running on the morning of the 16th, and will reassess in the afternoon.
Cowichan Tribes has also released a boil water advisory for those on the following water systems: Wilson/Trestle CWS, Cowichan Community Water System (CWS), and River bottom MWS. That includes all addresses in Clem Clem, Boys Rd, Quamichan, Koksilah, and Somena.
To receive updates as they arrive, download the Cowichan Alert App here.