Minister Mike Farnworth in Grand Forks last week with regional fire chief Dan Derby. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Local government requests military assistance in flooding relief

The political request came Tuesday night.

Local politicians have officially made the political request for the military to assist in the flooding situation in the Boundary.

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area D director Roly Russell confirmed at a community meeting on Tuesday night the request was being made. He noted that volunteer burnout and the incredible work of the community filling sandbags warranted relief from the federal government.

Russell did note the request had not yet officially come from the Emergency Operations Centre, but that political pressure had been applied.

The request follows on a visit from public safety minister Mike Farnworth last week. Farnworth committed to long-term support for flooding relief and recovery in the Boundary

In a post on Facebook, Russell thanked MP for South Okanagan-West Kootenay Richard Cannings for his support of the request.

Speaking a a public information session in Osoyoos Tuesday night, Cannings said that with the situation looking unlikely to improve, help was needed.

Richard Cannings, member of Parliament for South Okanagan-West Kootenay, speaks at a public information session in the Sonora Community Centre on local flooding.
(Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

“Half the town is under water, more or less, thousands of people have been displaced,” Cannings said.

“They have a thousand volunteers sandbagging, trying to repair the dykes that were damaged. They’re completely burned out and they’ve been working around the clock. They’re at their wits end.”

Jessica Mace, who is coordinating volunteer efforts for sandbagging, noted on Tuesday that volunteers are tired and worn out; additional efforts to get “boots on the ground” are welcome.

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