Flash floods force boaters to fend for themselves
Published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 6:25PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7:24PM MDT
An Alberta man is happy to finallybe back home after spending three days stranded in B.C. after his vacation was hampered by flooding.
Ben Gratton and his friends were caught up in the chaos caused by the recent flooding in Sicamous.
The Waterways Houseboats' headquarters was flooded out on Sunday and that is where Gratton and his 12 friends were supposed to dock their boats and retrieve their cars after their vacation.
Instead, they learned their cars were totaled by the flood and they were told by B.C. Emergency Operations personnel that no more house boaters would receive assistance.
Gratton managed to find his own way home but he is outraged by the way he was treated, especially when other house boaters got the assistance he and his friends so desperately needed.
“Oh, extremely frustrating. All these emotions go through you, first one is do I get mad? No, because I need to get home to my family. Do I yell at someone? Do I punch a wall? No. I have to take care of myself and figure out how I’m going to get home," said Gratton.
CTV Calgary Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty got involved to find out why Gratton and his friends were denied assistance.
Lea was told that a statement from Minster Shirley Hood about the Sicamous EOC was forthcoming but she was sent some background information from her staff instead.
The information states:
Emergency social services provides short-term assistance to those forced to leave their homes because of an emergency. this assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification. it is not offered to travellers - it is intended to help residents who are evacuated from their primary residences.
The minister did send a statement later in the day and said she regrets if there was any confusion about what the emergency social services offers and she regrets if any visitors were not well served.
Hood said initially that the province of B.C., outside the scope of its policy, did provide 122 stranded travellers with assistance.
She says another 63 travellers were assisted by a houseboat rental company, Waterways, and that the province engaged the Red Cross to help any remaining travellers.
She added that the Sicamous Emergency Centre has reported that all stranded travellers have since returned home.