The City of Williams Lake issued an evacuation alert for the Green Acres Mobile Home park on September 28th, and an Evacuation Order for six properties the following day.
Ashley Coleman is one of the residents who was evacuated.
“Part of it was, um, kind of, oh, ‘you know, oh, here we go again,’ because we had already been on evacuation alert for kind of the same issue the year prior. So we were put on alert, I think it was on the 28th. and then I didn’t know until I got home, but my husband was talking to somebody, they were looking at the embankment and, and whoever he was talking to said that they were most likely going to put us on order. So we were kind of expecting it, but not quite so soon. I got the call at work the next day at about three o’clock that day. They were putting an order and we had to go down there and get all our stuff ready. So then it was just panic mode at that.”
Coleman says her home is about 30 metres away from the embankment, and is the closest of the 6 evacuated properties.
She says for the first week after her family was evacuated, they stayed in a travel trailer at the Stampede Grounds.
“Travel trailers are great for camping, but not when you’re going to be living in them indefinitely. There’s just not a lot of space. And we have an 11 year old and two dogs, so it was really difficult. The WiFi is terrible down at stampede grounds and cooking and stuff is not quite the same, so that was really rough. Then of course it was getting cold at night, so we couldn’t stay in the travel trailer for the whole time. Then they put us in a hotel. So that’s where we are right now at the Sandman.”
Coleman says their rooms are being renewed three days at a time, and they sometimes have to move if the hotel rooms had been booked before their arrival.
She says they are able to apply for a permit to go into their homes for an hour at a time, if they need to retrieve something from the house.
She says the communication with the city hasn’t been terrible, but it hasn’t been amazing either.
“We have had two meetings, so we had the first meeting, um, kind of the Monday after everything happened, which was good because I didn’t even expect that. Then we had another meeting last night, and then that’s when they kind of communicate what’s been going on. They do have a number for us to call where if we have any questions or anything like that, so I’m sure that if I did do that, they would answer anything that I asked. But you know, there’s a lot of stuff kind of, you can tell there’s a lot of stuff going on in the back in the background that you don’t really know about or understand.”
Coleman says her biggest concern is what is going to happen next.
“I just feel like for myself, it’s my biggest concern obviously, is what what’s going to happen if we aren’t allowed back. Because essentially with that, that’s our home right now. If we aren’t allowed back then, you know, where, where are we going to go? What are we going to do? The housing market is bonkers right now, and in order to buy anything like my, my house, my trailer is, is my down payment. I was going to sell it. So if I can’t sell the trailer, what am I going to do? So that’s just, you know, that’s my biggest concern at this point, and I don’t think a lot of people are thinking about you know, it’s our houses, our investments that we make and, you know, with other people, people want to retire and if they have to look at buying a new house, they’re not going to be able to do that. So all those things and, and you know, the future and what it’s going to look like, if we can’t go back, that’s my biggest concern.”
The City of Williams Lake is expecting the results of the Geotechnical survey of the area soon.