Englishman River floods areas near Parksville

The Englishman River swelled after heavy rains and flooded areas including Martindale Road on Nov. 15, 2021. || Photo by Kevin Forsyth
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Heavy rain and flooding have left some residents of the Martindale Road area unsure when they will be able to return to their homes. 

Floods have struck communities around the province, but they are not an uncommon event for residents of Martindale Road.

“I just grabbed my dog and my stuff and my little kayak and kayaked out,” said Heather Rathburn, who lives in a mobile home park nearby. She added she moved her vehicle out of the area earlier.

Rathburn said this is her second year living in the area and she was surprised to see floods in November.

“My first experience was last year and it happened about the second week of February,” she said. 

Rathburn said she is concerned that if the water levels do not decrease by high tide later this afternoon (Nov. 15), her home will lose power.

RCMP and the fire department responded when a vehicle became stuck in the water in the morning, according to Sgt. Shane Worth.

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) declared a local state of emergency and issued evacuation orders earlier today for 380 Martindale Road and 246 Riverbend Road in RDN Electoral Area G and portions of Wilkinson Road, Alice Road and Riverside Road in RDN Electoral Area A.

The RDN said that residents living in the impacted areas who were at home have been contacted directly by the local fire departments and search and rescues agencies to assist with evacuations.

All residents are asked to leave the area immediately and register at the closest reception centre: Parksville Community Centre at 132 East Jensen Ave.; Qualicum Beach Civic Centre at 747 Jones Street or the Cedar Community Hall at 2388 Cedar Road.

The province’s River Forecast Centre issued a flood watch for the Englishman River this morning.

Environment Canada warned of a “significant atmospheric river event” bringing heavy rains to the east Vancouver Island region. It forecast the rain would let up this afternoon (Nov. 15).

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