Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LBTHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, AprM 8, OWNER TRANSFERRED AND ANXIOUS TO SELL! This lovely 2 year old 3 bedroom home is ideal for the larger family. The living room is nicely carpeted Basement is fully developed with a large rumpus room, bedroom, large den and bath Thto honw to value priced at PLEASE NOTE! haw a good aatactton of MOBILE HOMES for SALE Ranging In prica from ART WILLIAMS REAL ESTATE ft INSURANCE CantraVWageMall Phona 328-8184 By STEVE KRUEGER KAMLOOPS, BC (CP) In the two years since flood waters ripped through one Kamloops subdivision and threatened hundreds of other homes little has been done to prevent future flood damage and Mayor Gordon Nicol blames the provincial government. Mayor Nicol said in a re- cent interview that the pro- vincial government has not lived up to its commitment to share part of the cost of a Thompson River Basin Diking Authority, which would build dikes around Kamloops. "Other than a ban on new construction on the flood plain, the government just hasn't done anything. We aren't any better off today than we were two years ago. There is no question that we need a diking authority "We're lucky this year. There hasn't been much snow and the snow survey bulletin (issued by the provincial water rights branch) says the runoff shouldn't be too heavy.'' ASSORTED MEN'S, LADIES' AND CHILDREN'S SHOES Clearing at V and LADIES' HANDBAGS C tearing now at W and I Our new Spring stock is now in, drop in and browse around! Jlcitci Centre Village Mall, Lethbrldge LEFT: The marshy area In the foreground marks the spot where a sand dike protecting the newly-opened Oak Hills subdivision col- lapsed in June, 1972, letting through dirty water from the flooding North Thompson River. Kamloops troubled by the floods On June 2, 1972, a sand dike at the south end of the then newly-opened Oak Hills subdivision and Oak Dale mobile home park failed, letting in millions of gallons of dirty water from the flood-crested North Thompson River. More than 100 homes and 80 mobile homes were damaged in the flood Damage was estimated as high as million. The provincial government organized an improvement district in the subdivision last summer to pay the a-year maintenance cost on a new, engineered dike built last year Oak Hills, a part of the unincorporated area of Westsyde at the time, was developed with the permission of the B.C. highways department and Thompson Nicola Re- gional District. Like any other subdivision, homes, streets and sewers were inspected by authorities as they were 'built. inspection No one ever inspected the dike, however, because of a lack of clear jurisdiction by any government body. As the North and South Thompson Rivers neared record levels in late May and the first 38 hours of 'June; 1972, the developers of Oak Hills maintained the dike was sound and would resist the force of the water Shortly before 3 p.m a passing water board truck driver noticed water bubbling up from a sandy area 50 feet inside the dike. Called "piping, "the sand was being eroded by a force of water that had dug a tunnel beneath the dike that was widening every second. Seconds later, a 100-yard- long section of dike collapsed and water cascaded among the mobile homes, floating a dozen off their temporary foundations Within 20 minutes, the entire development was flooded. It took six hours to rescue the last stranded residents by boat but miraculously the only casualties were three people who suffered cut feet from walking over glass in the water. Mayor Nicol and others said after the Oak Hills disaster that the area should be closed as a residential area Cost prohibitive He said it would cost more to repair the damaged homes and rebuild the dike than it would to buy out the owners and return the area to its original cattle grazing area that became a "swamp during every spring freshet period. Today, a new dike has been one designed by a team of Calgary engineers noted for their dike and canal construction The new dike not only protects the Oak Hills development, it cuts through the Westsyde Park just north of the subdivision and protects several hundred homes lo- cated on low land near the park The area now is within the newly expanded city and is the responsibility of the new municipal council Mayor Nicol was one of those who led the demand for a separate jurisdiction to cover diking costs at Oak Hills He said the city had nothing to do with allowing the project to proceed and should not be liable to protect it from future flooding. While the Oak Hills development was the only one actually flooded during the 1972 record flood crests, many other areas of Kamloops were under a watery siege for almost two weeks. Only one area appears to be destined for removal from the housing area between the river and a large city park. Centra Village Mall Phom 328-8980 A Special Someone? 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