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Evacuation alert rescinded for Airport Road in Pemberton

Flood warning to be downgraded shortly

A break from recent heavy rainfall has allowed water to start to drain from flooded areas in Pemberton, and the Village of Pemberton (VOP) has rescinded the evacuation alert for Airport Road.

At North Arm Farm, Emma Sturdy said that in some areas the water has receded by more than one metre, but she remains cautious as more rain is forecast for the long weekend.

“It’s a mess right now,” she said.

Sturdy and her crew spent about seven hours relocating livestock and equipment to higher ground on the property as the river levels rose. The driveway to the farm remains under almost one metre of water.

“We still have 60 to 65 per cent of the farm covered with water,” Sturdy said, adding it’s too early to assess the financial damage.

“We really don’t know what we’re looking at. We’re expecting to see significant sand deposits on the field, which we’ll have to scrape off, as well as damage to the fencing system just from the debris in the water.”

The community is no stranger to severe flooding. In 2003, 369 millimetres of rain hit the region in a span of two-and-a-half days, inundating parts of Pemberton, Mount Currie and Rutherford Creek, resulting in the deaths of five people.

“After the 2003 flood, the house flooded significantly, and we redid the kitchen to be above the flood level,” Sturdy said. This week, several bedrooms of the residence were under water upwards of 10 centimetres, but the level has now receded.

Sturdy said that Pemberton’s incomplete dyke system should be addressed.

“The dyking ends about one kilometer before our property. We’re looking at options to try to resolve our dyking issues, but it really it’s hard to say. That’s a significant amount of money to build those dykes to protect us and our neighbours. I don’t know where that money would come from.”

One Mile Lake Park and trails have reopened after a temporary closure was issued as a safety precaution. The previous flood warning has been downgraded to a high streamflow advisory for the Lillooett River and the Squamish River near Brackendale.

Check back for updates.