Nine assisted living suites at Armstrong’s Pioneer Square facility were evacuated Friday after Meighan Creek overflowed its banks due to heavy rainfall, and flowed into the ground-level walk-in basement at the facility for a second straight year. Eight of the nine suites were occupied with residents safely moved to other quarters. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

Heavy rains result in early floods

Armstrong assisted living suites evacuated for second straight year following floods

They haven’t finished dealing with insurance claims from the floods of 2017.

Staff and residents at Armstrong’s Pioneer Square, a seniors facility on Willowdale Drive, are dealing with more flooding after water from Meighan Creek made its way into the ground-level basement of the facility Friday morning following a severe rainfall Thursday night.

Nine assisted living suites in the basement, along with the hallway, filled up with water. Eight of the nine suites were occupied.

RELATED: Flooding leads to Pioneer Square evacuation in Armstrong

“We moved the residents upstairs,” said Noreen Guenther, regional manager for Kaigo Senior Living Group, which oversees the facility. “Clients were moved to the upper level and settled comfortably in the living room and into some empty rooms.”

As of Friday, Interior Health was working with families of the occupants to find accommodations until the suites are cleaned and refurbished.

Two of the eight tenants went through this last year when the facility flooded in May during spring run-off and heavy seasonal rains, and caused significant damage to the suites.

“Those residents are more in the anger stage that it’s happened again,” said Guenther. “It’s rough on them.”

Some houses across the street from Pioneer Square on Willowdale Drive have water in their backyard, and a few homes have water in their basements.


Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper said the city has been preparing for a year since last year’s flooding to deal with Meighan Creek and Deep Creek.

The severe rainstorm Thursday, combined with the melting of low elevation snow caused Meighan Creek to rise by two feet, said Pieper.

“This could be the start of the next two months,” he said. “Last year, the flooding was at the end of May, not in March. We’re prepared as best we can.”

The city declared a state of local emergency Friday.

“It allows us to do something if we have to do it,” said Pieper. “The province is aware of what’s happening. We have reported and we can do emergency measures around the creek if we have to. We can’t do anything to the creek. It’s overflowed its banks so we can’t get in there with machines.”

RELATED: Armstrong declares state of emergency

Pieper said crews were on duty throughout the weekend to check culverts and make sure water was flowing through.

The city has applied to the province to dredge Meighan Creek to help alleviate flooding concerns.

“The city and the province need to work together to find a solution, and I know it’s not easy, and we want to be part of that solution,” said Guenther. “This has an impact on the seniors and our neighbours. Flooding is a major concern that needs to be addressed.”

The city has provided sand, sand bags and shovels at its public works yard for residents to fill.

The Kindale Developmental Association had volunteers moving items from its Patterson Avenue facilities to higher ground. Kindale also went through severe flooding issues in 2017 but the water had not reached its buildings as of Friday.

The neighbouring Township of Spallumcheen experienced localized flooding due to spring freshet, and as a result of rain and snowmelt.

The township’s public works crew will be reviewing different areas in the municipality where there are flooding risks to township infrastructure. Updates will be provided on the township’s website at

The township reminds residents they are responsible for protecting their buildings and properties from flooding. Sandbags are available, at no cost, for self-filling at the Township of Spallumcheen Public Works Yard located at 1511 Eagle Rock Road (bring your own shovel).

There was localized flooding in Lumby at the south end of Shuswap Avenue with water running across the road and railway tracks due to heavy rainfall.

The creeks in the village did not rise that much. The village has provided two sandbag filling stations at the curling club and on Faulkner Avenue at the Salmon Trail entrance.

In Enderby, there were a couple of small flooding issues due to heavy rain, with the water flowing down Old Vernon Road and into Barnes Park. One driveway also suffered damage when a culvert beneath the driveway failed.

There were no flooding problems in Vernon or Coldstream.

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Noreen Guenther, regional manager for the Kaigo Senior Living Group which looks after Armstrong’s Pioneer Square seniors facility, stands at the entry to one of nine assisted living suites overrun by flood waters Friday. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

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