Flooding at the Quartz Road culvert is threatening the Cache Creek fire hall.

Flooding at the Quartz Road culvert is threatening the Cache Creek fire hall.

Floodwater in Cache Creek threatens fire hall

Two years after a devastating flood, Cache Creek is once again bracing against floodwater.

Almost two years after dealing with a devastating flood caused by a severe rainstorm, Cache Creek is once again battling floodwater, this time caused by fast runoff.

On the evening of Friday, May 5 the culvert at Quartz Road overflowed, threatening the Cache Creek fire hall, which is directly opposite. The hall was badly damaged during the May 2015 flood.

Work at the Quartz Road culvert at 2 p.m. on May 5. All photos by Barbara Roden.

Work at the Quartz Road culvert at 8 p.m. on May 5.

Members of the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department, the Village of Cache Creek crew, and the Ashcroft Volunteer Fire Department were quickly on site to place sandbags in front of the bay doors and the driveway leading to the fire hall. A backhoe cleared debris and moved rip rap to try to stem the water, which was flowing from Cache Creek.

Mayor John Ranta told The Journal earlier on May 5 that the first report of flooding along the creek came in at 6:55 p.m. on Thursday, May 4. The Brookside Campground was flooded, as was a private property beside the creek along Trans-Canada Highway East. A bridge along the creek was apparently washed out, and the culverts at Quartz Road and the Dairy Queen were filling with debris.

Village of Cache Creek crew and private contractors worked into the early hours of Friday, May 5 to clear the debris and place rip rap adjacent to the creek to prevent erosion of the bank. “The amount of debris that comes down to Cache Creek makes it easy to plug up,” said Ranta.

Floodwater at the Quartz Road culvert, 8 p.m. on May 5.

Tragically, Cache Creek fire chief Clayton Cassidy, who was checking water levels at the Brookside Campground early on Friday morning, appears to have been swept up in the floodwater. Kamloops Search and Rescue were called to Cache Creek at 11 a.m. on May 5, but were unable to locate him. The search has been suspended until Saturday morning.

A higher than average snowpack in the region, followed by an unusually cold and prolonged spring, has meant that gradual melting and runoff has not occurred. However, temperatures in the region were in the high 20s on Thursday, and the hot spell—which continued Friday—meant a sudden thawing, and a dramatic increase in creek and river levels throughout the area.

Various roads were closed or impacted due to flooding on May 5, including Back Valley Road near Cache Creek; Kirkland Ranch Road near Ashcroft; Highway 1 east of Lytton; Highway 8 west of Merritt; and the junction of Highways 97C and 97D at Logan Lake.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on May 5, an evacuation order was put into effect at Cherry Creek, west of Kamloops, and adjacent properties were put on evacuation alert as the flooding poses “an imminent threat to people and property.”

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) has activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) because of the flooding incidents throughout the TNRD. The EOC will coordinate the efforts of all emergency response agencies to support residents in the region. Any TNRD residents who wish to evacuate, or who require information or sandbagging supplies, should call the TNRD EOC at 1-866-377-7188.