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VIDEO: Evacuation underway for Duncan apartment residents as floodwaters rise

Residents told to leave, at least one upset with North Cowichan for the late notice

Residents of a Duncan apartment complex have been told to evacuate due to flood waters impeding access to and from the building.

The warning was issued at midnight Nov. 15, for residents of Meadow Glen Apartments on the north end of Canada Avenue. For some it was already too late.

“I attempted to do just this at 9:56 p.m. [Nov. 14] ,” resident Angel Tarra said. “The rain water was already too deep to drive my sedan out of my parking lot. The tow truck stated that there wasn’t anything that could get my vehicle running again as the water caused it to kaput on my attempt as I approached the exit from our parking lot.”

Next door, the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP officers had already moved their service vehicles to their headquarters’ front parking lot due to rising water at the back.

SEE RELATED: British Columbians warned to brace for further torrential rain, flooding through Monday

Tarra said the tow truck driver told her to wait until morning to try again.

“Thank goodness for my two amazingly wonderful and selfless neighbours that pushed my vehicle up the slope to the roadway, and then to the corner where, at the time, it was slightly higher ground,” she said. “They didn’t hesitate to get out into the cold water and help me out.”

Tarra noted one of the Good Samaritans helping her out was only wearing shorts “for heaven’s sake, but she was just focused on the good deed at hand, not the high water.”

Tarra noted that the municipality of North Cowichan have RCMP knock on every apartment door to give an official evacuation notice at 2:20 a.m.

“That was over four hours after the flooding was already far too expansive to know what to do with ourselves,” she said.

As of 5 a.m. Monday, Tarra said her apartment building is “now literally flooding inside on the lower level, and the elevator shaft is quickly filling up with water.”

Tarra is calling out the municipality for not acting sooner.

“I strongly feel that the North Cowichan did not do their job at all,” We should have been informed during the afternoon to dinner hours about a possible evacuation.”

Tarra said she’s safe for now, as her unit is on the top floor.

“So if it goes down I’ll actually be the last apartment to hit the ground. Or water.”

Other residents said it tends to flood around the building but it’s never gotten inside — until now.

A second floor resident who was waiting to be brought to a bus and taken to the emergency centre, said her downstairs neighbour’s unit was full of water almost up to her knees. They also noted the elevator shaft was filling up with water.

“I had a look at it at seven this morning,” said one resident. “I opened the door and water just came shooting in.”

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Crews work to assist residents and battle flooding in the Duncan area. Sarah Simpson photo
The area around the Meadow Glen Apartments and the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment is dealing with significant flooding. Sarah Simpson photo

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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