Peace region residents, businesses, and more rise to the surface

Flood know-how and resiliency is part of the Peace region – as residents, business and more combine and corral forces to bounce back.

Resiliency. The ability to bounce back and recover quickly. Elasticity. When it comes to bouncing back after flood work in the Peace Thursday, there is no shortness of resiliency come Friday throughout the Peace region.

While it looked like Bear’s Den Liquor Store was to take the brunt of a failed culvert at the Dangerous Goods Road and 8th street, that is not the case come Friday morning. Representatives say while the flooding did appear to block customers from all-important spirit access, it is business as usual Friday morning.

“We did have some water seep into our cellar but we are open for business and customers today,” says Kennedy Wright at the store.

Jackie Baskic, accounts receivable with NAPA Auto Parts in Fort St John, says the business learned from previous flooding.

“We have done some dredging around the building previously,” she said.

“Last night (Thursday), the waters were headed for the store, but not a drop of water has entered the store,” she says this morning.

"What an incredible story."

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Nicole De Vuyst, general manager at Nawican Friendship Centre, says the location has been a community hub since COVID-19 and more recent flooding. Members of the community assembled at noon at the centre Friday for a gratis hot lunch on a cold day from new cook Bernie McEwen.

"We served more than 1,100 meals in May and even more in June," De Vuyst notes, saying Canada Day's lack of activities brought more people than usual to their Canada Day pancake giveaway.

"We're here for those who need us."

Dawson Creek resident John MacDonald along 108th Avenue in Dawson Creek says despite his road remaining closed as of Friday, they are doing rebuilding and mitigation work were they can on their land.

“We got out early Thursday morning with our grandkids when it was time to go,” he says noting the entire event is a lesson for his grandchildren.

“They got to learn about the power of mother nature, and what we can do to help protect home.”

MacDonald says the key to the 108th street culvert properly working is a vortex on the other side of the road from him.

“A vortex is needed for culverts to be working, if there is no vortex - there is no flow because the culvert is clogged. It is that simple,” he says noting being relocated to a hotel in Dawson Creek for the time being.

Meanwhile, the George Dawson Inn is showing compassion to American travellers.

 “I have had Americans stay at my hotel since day one,” says Tracey Lynn Moore-Winland.

“And there have been zero issues. They self distance just like the rest of us, they wash their hands just like the rest of us, and the big one, they respect us,” she says.

“I understand that some Americans apparently are not following the rules, however most are so it is not fair to lump them all in to one. I will continue everyday to welcome our fellow neighbours.”

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