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Fire department called in after unprecedented flooding at Parksville resort

High tides and melting snow: ‘In 27 years we have never seen this’

Surfside RV Resort Ltd., adjacent to the Parksville Beach Community Park, experienced significant flooding caused by rising ocean waters on Friday (Jan. 7).

Resort manager Shawn Bennett said the water in the flooded areas has started to recede and they will assess possible damages to the infrastructure. One the concerns they had to deal with was electrical outage.

“Some of the areas don’t have power,” said Bennett.

Oceanside Emergency Program co-ordinator Aaron Dawson visited the flooded area and offered assistance to residents whose units are currently without electricity.

Bennett said approximately a half-dozen residents were given alternative accommodations for the night and will be allowed to stay there for up to 72 hours until power has been safely connected.

“We should have everything back in operation, hopefully by tomorrow,” said Bennett.

The magnitude of the flooding at Surfside was a first, said Bennett, who attributed the event to high tide, melting snow and rain.

“The planets have aligned really,” said Bennett. “In 27 years we have never seen this. It’s like king tide messing with the northwest wind.”

Water overflowed into the low areas as well as those located near the estuary. Bennett said most of the residents are snowbirds but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still people residing in some of the RVs.

Bennett said they are still assessing the situation to see how they can best address the flooded areas.

“We’re looking at pumps to move some of the water,” said Bennett.

The Parksville Fire Department was called in to assist.

“We were called about high water going over the breakwater here at Surfside park,” said assistant fire chief Steve Liedl. “What we’re doing is trying to make sure that all the electrical and any other services are secured. There are some people in the units right now and we’re making sure everybody is safe.”

B.C. Hydro was also called in to address any electrical issues that may arise.

READ MORE: Flooding closes sections of Parksville Community Park

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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