EDITORIAL: Flood response not that simple

Frustration and feeling abandoned aren’t uncommon during emergencies such as flooding.

After all, for most individuals, the largest investment they will ever make is their home. To see high water first engulf the property and then surround the home is overwhelming. The mad rush to hold back the water is combined with trying to protect valuable possessions.

It’s also natural to look for someone to blame for the situation or to at least highlight their inadequacies.

Some residents have suggested their municipalities aren’t stopping water from flowing through publicly owned parks and into their properties. Concerns have arisen from the Kalavista lagoon in Coldstream as well as along Lakeshore Road where the City of Vernon has several lake access sites.

The residents want the parks sandbagged to stem the surge of water, and on the surface, that appears to make sense.

However, consider that municipalities own several properties that could be along lakes or creeks and diverting resources towards sandbagging them could take away from critical, flood-related activities such as ensuring storm sewer systems are clear and providing residents with sand and bags.

The reality is that property owners have the responsibility to protect their own property, and they are receiving assistance from taxpayers via the sand and bags.

If local government has dropped the ball, it has been with communications. Just issuing press releases about the process isn’t enough. Getting the word out, may actually take municipal staff visiting properties.

In the end though, residents and municipalities alike are struggling with unprecedented flooding.