Flood cleanup is a long and dirty job

Rome wasn't built in a day and Cache Creek wasn't cleaned up in a week...

It’s been a hard week for many Cache Creek residents.

The sound of heavy equipment starts up at 8 am every morning all over town. That’s the happy part.

The disturbing part is the sound of thunder lurking in those dark rain clouds that have dropped rain on Cache Creek three or four times in the week following the great flood.

Because the ground is already so saturated with water, anything extra just sits in the yards, carries a little extra mud into the driveway. We dug out not once but at least four times in a week.

Really, if all you have to worry about is another little pool of water in your yard, it’s peanuts compared to what others have endured.

And while we can grab the snow shovel and move the water along, we are all reminded that some of our friends and neighbours have no more homes to rescue. Or if they do, it’s going to be a long time and a lot of work to make them liveable again.

More than a week later, the ground is still saturated. Lifting those shovelfuls of mud is backbreaking work but it has to be done. The work is far from over.

The donations of money and help are surely much appreciated, but those affected by the flood won’t see any financial aid for four to six weeks – if at all.

Spend your days and nights in a motel room that’s being paid for by Emergency Social Services, or in a cold, dark house where the power and heat have been turned off until the damages have been fixed, and perhaps you’ll see that four to six weeks can be an eternity.

Everyone is saying that this is going to take a long time to straighten out, but people can’t put their lives on hold while the paperwork goes through the system. It needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Even so, disaster assistance from the province will only cover 80 per cent of just a certain area of the residence. Locally-raised donations will be distributed by a locally made up committee. Hopefully it will all get done sooner rather than later.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal