B.C. floods: Residents share harrowing stories of escape

For a lot of Canadians, seeing photos of the aftermath of the B.C. floods has been surprising, each by way of the unprecedented variety of folks affected and the catastrophic harm attributable to relentless rainfall.

However those that survived among the storm’s worst are nonetheless grappling to come back to phrases with their expertise – lots of which have been life threatening.

CTV Information spoke with many B.C. residents affected by the floods, together with those that survived the harrowing mudslide on Freeway 7. Right here is their expertise in their very own phrases.


Robert Doolan was making his method again to White Rock, B.C. from lake nation together with his niece when street closures pressured them to reroute to Freeway 7 between Hope and Agassiz, B.C. Not lengthy after detouring onto the freeway, Doolan says he sensed one thing was unsuitable.

“Something told me to slow down, and I’m glad we did. We would have been in the slide otherwise,” he advised CTV Information Channel Tuesday.

“Everything around us started to shake and it went from seeing tail lights to compete black in front of us. There were two cars in front of us… I didn’t understand what was going on, they were turning around.”

It took a number of moments for Doolan to grasp what had occurred – a mudslide had washed a number of automobiles in entrance of them off the street.

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“We jumped out of the truck. There were people yelling for help, there were two cars that we could see… it was all kind of a blur,” he defined.

“The people who made it out of the vehicle… I can’t believe they even made it out. Honestly it looked like the walking dead coming out of that vehicle.”

Trapped between an unstable hillside and the Fraser River, Doolan helped a pair, Ken and Laurie, whose automotive had been washed out within the slide, preserving them secure and heat in his car in a single day whereas they awaited rescue.

“It was horrific. We weren’t safe, I didn’t sleep at all. Laurie was coughing mud out of her lungs. Nobody could get to us, we were blocked in from both sides,” he mentioned. “We were completely helpless.”

Doolan and his niece have been later evacuated by air and given shelter in Agassiz. Greater than 300 folks have been finally rescued alongside the freeway.

“I can’t sleep. Apparently, they didn’t get everybody evacuated out of there. We were lucky… we were on the second chopper out. But I felt terrible getting on that chopper… maybe there were people that were more deserving instead of us,” he mentioned.


Chelsea Hughes was additionally stranded within the Freeway 7 mudslide, pressured to spend the evening on high of her automotive after it was pushed off the street within the slide.

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“It felt like it was happening in slow motion but it was also over before I knew it,” she advised CTV Vancouver. “I remember the sound of just being pushed through the earth.”

Hughes, who turned partially submerged in a swampy space under the street, was capable of escape by her damaged sunroof. Together with the others round her, she stored in touch with first responders all through the evening ready to be rescued.

“Last night I was trying to go to bed and I could just hear it,” she mentioned, beginning to cry. “It was so scary, just sitting on our cars in the swamp we could hear other landslides come down. The roar of the land falling and the crackle of the trees… we didn’t know if it was coming back to us.”


In Yarrow, B.C., Jordan Jongema watched for hours as his childhood dwelling was shortly engulfed by flood waters.

After delaying his evacuation earlier within the day, Jongema realized by mid-afternoon he wouldn’t be capable to navigate the flooded roads.

“I would not say it was gradual… it was quick. I made a bit of notch within the wall in my kitchen and each half-hour it went up about an inch. By the point it was midnight I used to be wading by the kitchen [it was] at my hips,” he advised CTV Information.

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“I was literally swimming in the backyard… it’s just like a Hollywood script.”

When the water reached the window of his second storey childhood bed room, Jongema resorted to placing a few of his belongings on the roof of the home in an try to save lots of them.

It wasn’t till 3:30 a.m. that he heard a ship making its method up the flooded street coming to his rescue.


Barkad Khan and his household, spouse Afreen and daughters Mahveen and Mahira, got simply 10 minutes to get out earlier than their dwelling in Merritt, B.C. was flooded.

“It’s gone. Under water. Everything gone. I have nothing left. Nothing to go back to,” Khan, who moved to Merritt in March from Calgary, advised the Canadian Press.

With simply sufficient time to throw a number of garments in a single suitcase and depart, Khan says he has needed to borrow cash from associates to place his household up in a resort, repeatedly advised by officers that he might want to watch for a telephone name in an effort to get any help.

“I came here now and you know what he’s saying — if you’re not dying we cannot do anything for you. At least show compassion,” Khan mentioned. “You have no idea how much we lost. We lost everything. This is wrong.”

– With recordsdata from The Canadian Press