Cowichan Tribes has issued an evacuation order for two areas within the First Nation on Jan. 2, 2021. (screenshot)

Flooding causes evacuation order for Cowichan Tribes land; COVID-19 confirmed within First Nation

Cowichan Tribes issued an evacuation order for the Wil’seem Road and Sahilton Road areas

Cowichan Tribes issued an evacuation order for the Wil’seem Road and Sahilton Road areas near Duncan at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 2.

There is an immediate danger to life and safety due to flooding in the area, the order said.

RCMP and other emergency response agencies carried out the order.

“You must leave the are immediately,” the order reads.

Residents were advised to take the safest travel route available to either the Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay or Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn on Norcross Road.

People were told to make sure all of their gas and electrical appliances were shut off other than freezers and refrigerators before leaving, and that they should take critical items such as medicine, identification and pets with them.

“We understand that flooding and temporary relocations can be challenging and we are here to support members,” said the order, signed by Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour. “We are doing this to keep community members safe.”

If people had questions or were in need of assistance, they were asked to call 250-715-3339.

The Vancouver Island Crisis Line (1-888-494-3888) is also available at any time if you need to talk to someone.

Other areas are on evacuation alert as of 4:30 p.m. Saturday. They include Quamichan west, Clem Clem, Tyup Road, Joe Road, Green Point or Khenipson Road.

“Please consider leaving your home immediately if your safety is at risk or if flooding is about to happen near you. Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to a declared evacuation; however, you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions,” the alert reads.

“People with mobility issues are strongly encouraged to leave now and identify their transportation options. Accommodations options are available through Cowichan Tribes.”

COVID-19 complicated the flood response.

In a news release on the Cowichan Tribes website dated Jan. 1, it states that there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Cowichan Tribes community.

“This is a difficult time for all of us, and the next few weeks will be challenging. But we are a strong Nation, and we will get through this. Now, we all need to stay home, stay safe, and support each other. Let’s work together as a Nation to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our Sul’wheen and our loved ones,” Seymour said.

Cowichan Tribes residents were urged not to share vehicles between households as they leave the flood area, and to avoid going to other households in the community because of COVID-19.

The Jan. 1 release says that Cowichan Tribes members who have tested positive are self-isolating and are in regular contact with public health officials to receive guidance on health and safety protocols.

“Chief and Council and Cowichan Tribes’ Pandemic Response Team, under the direction of the General Manager and Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre, are leading the Pandemic Response. Our Nation is working closely with Island Health, First Nations Health Authority and public health officials to support contact tracing, monitor cases, and keep members safe,” the news release says.

“If the number of cases in our community grows, Chief and Council may implement additional safety measures and restrictions through our COVID-19 Community Protection Bylaw.

“Cowichan Tribes is urging all members to stay home, stay safe, and follow public health orders. We must work together as a Nation to stop the spread of COVID-19,” the release concludes.

Cowichan Tribesflooding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Eligible non-profit organizations and charities apply for support through North Saanich’s COVID-19 relief until Feb. 12.(Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich lays out criteria for grants to non-profits

Eligible applicants can apply for an unlimited amount to help ease effects of COVID-19

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich repeals, reschedules two public hearings for consideration of new information

Move to hold public hearings for second time ‘very rare,’ mayor says

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Most Read