Tony and Aurora Kovacs talk with Red Cross representative Sarina MacDonell on the weekend.

Thieves benefit from flood mayhem

While most people have gone above and beyond to help others during the post-flood, there are others who help themselves.

  • Jun. 16, 2015 5:00 p.m.

by Barbara Roden

The recent flood in Cache Creek has brought out the best in many people, with volunteers helping those in need and donations pouring in to assist people who were hardest hit. Students from Ashcroft Secondary School volunteered for several work bees organized by the school; out-of-towners have come by to ask how they could help; Zimmer Wheaton GM in Kamloops donated the use of a dump trailer and bobcat; Interior Roads donated the use of two dump trucks and a loader to clear out a property near the highway that was particularly hard hit; and groups such as Samaritan’s Purse – a non-denominational evangelical Christian organisation that provides physical and spiritual aid to those in need – have been in Cache Creek for more than a week, helping to dig out residences that machinery can’t get to.

There are, however, people who will try to profit from the misfortune of others, and Tony and Aurora Kovacs appear to have suffered as a result. Their property on the south side of town between Cache Creek and Hwy 1 was one of the hardest hit, and volunteers salvaged tools and a workbench with a vise and grinder from a workshop on the property, which also had a number of fishing rods in it. Most of the items were placed in the yard and driveway, but have since gone missing.

Volunteer Clayton Cassidy says he doesn’t know of anyone else who has reported missing items. Tony and Aurora were evacuated to a local motel immediately following the flood, so there was no one to watch the property.

There were also fears that the couple – along with other evacuees staying at Cache Creek motels – would have to leave their accommodations because of previous bookings by those attending Graffiti Days. However, Cassidy reported that all the evacuees were told they could stay where they were, with other arrangements being made for people with prior bookings. Several severely impacted people who are unable to return to their homes are seeking longer-term accommodations. Anyone who knows of, or has access to, available rental property is urged to contact the Village Office at 1389 Quartz Rd. (457-6237).

Cassidy said that the Village has come a long way since the flood. “Considering what the trailer court looked like, it’s amazing,” he said. “Lots of work has been done to dig them out. Some places have taken four or five days to dig out.” He noted that there are properties that machinery can’t access, so work is being done by hand. “Samaritan’s Purse spent a day digging out a property on Valleyview.

“The response has been great,” added Cassidy, noting that while things were somewhat disorganized at the start, there’s been a real effort to match volunteers with demand. While the Resiliency Centre at the Community Hall closed on Sunday June 14, and the phone number there is no longer in service, anyone who needs information or assistance, would like to volunteer, has items/money to donate, or would like to sign out landscaping equipment should contact the Village Office, which can answer any flood-related inquiries.

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