Damage to Highway 8 east of Spences Bridge on Nov. 17, 2021. (Photo credit: Ministry of Transportation)

Damage to Highway 8 east of Spences Bridge on Nov. 17, 2021. (Photo credit: Ministry of Transportation)

Resiliency centre in Cache Creek for those impacted by floods

Partnership between Gold Country Communities Society and TNRD provides by-appointment assistance

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) has partnered with Gold Country Communities Society (GCCS) to offer resiliency centre services in Cache Creek for TNRD residents affected by flooding along the Highway 8 corridor, with Gold Country staff available by appointment to provide assistance to residents who are still displaced from their homes.

Marcie Down, GCCS executive director, says that it’s the first time the society has been involved in a partnership like this.

“Its something we’ve been working on as part of ‘first response’ tourism,” she explains. “There’s not a lot of tourism going on right now, but this is something GCCS can help with.”

Down says that after the flooding on the weekend of Nov. 14 that destroyed several kilometres of roads and infrastructure along Highway 8 east of Spences Bridge, and forced the evacuation of many properties, she called TNRD Area “I” director Steve Rice, who is also one of the evacuees.

“I let him know that we had an office available if anyone needed WiFi access or anything like that. He contacted the TNRD and they contacted me, and said that we could help out with a resiliency centre. There are at least 10 evacuated families living in the area, but there are more than that in total.”

This is not the first time that Down has had experience with assisting people after a disaster.

“I was with Emergency Support Services in 2015 when we had flooding in Cache Creek, and again in 2017. I’m also a member of the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department.”

Down says that her office can help people access funding through the Canadian Red Cross for temporary accommodation and meal expenses, and assist with the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) application process. The DFA program is available through the B.C. government, and provides funding for eligible expenses related to repairs and rebuilding following damage caused by the flooding event.

“We can provide guidance for people needing help with forms and getting through the system. We also have WiFi access, and iPads that people can come to the office to use if they have to do anything online.

“We can get information about other services they need. What we’re trying to do is assess what other needs they have. For some people it’s finding out if they have insurance coverage and going from there about what steps are needed. We’re making sure forms are filled out and people can get the financial assistance they need.”

The resiliency centre is based out of the Gold Country office, located at 1095 Todd Road in Cache Creek (beside the Jade Shop). To make an appointment, people can call 1-778-207-9100 or email goldcountry@telus.net. A resiliency centre also remains open in the City of Merritt, located at 1950 Mamette Avenue and open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Services there are available for residents in Merritt, the TNRD, and Indigenous communities who have experienced flooding.

Down notes that while people are welcome to make an appointment to come to the Gold Country office, she is willing and able to travel to where they are.

“We also have a mobile service, so I can come to them. We know that some people don’t have vehicles or any way to get around. It’s a way for people to access services who can’t go all the way to Merritt or Kamloops. We set up for a day in Spences Bridge and had a chance to connect with and assist people there.”

Down says that the partnership with the TNRD is one way that Gold Country Communities Society is looking at how to fill existing gaps.

“Tourism has drastically changed. We’re doing videos of every community in Gold Country, and working on other things, but this is a way we can assist communities right now.”



editorial@accjournal.ca

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Cache CreekThompson Nicola Regional District