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Emergency Response Centre slows, recovery efforts full speed ahead
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will lower its activation level from Level 2 to Level 1 as of this weekend and begin to focus on long-term recovery and assistance for Johnsons Landing residents and others affected by flooding, sloughs or landslides, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) announced Thursday.
While the RDCK will remain ready to respond to emergencies, regional district staff and other agencies who have been working fulltime at the EOC will return to their regular duties.
A recovery manager has been hired to respond to the needs of Johnsons Landing residents who are still evacuated and whose homes or property have been damaged or destroyed or who are cut off from the rest of the community by the slide.
The recovery manager will coordinate response and recovery efforts with the RDCK’s emergency coordinator, geotechnical experts and other agencies.
During the 2012 freshet, the RDCK declared states of emergency in seven of its eleven areas and in addition, the municipalities of Kaslo and Castlegar declared their own states of emergency.
All declarations have now been lifted except for Area D in Johnsons Landing where 14 properties remain under an evacuation order since a massive landslide hit the community on the morning of July 12 killing three people with one person still missing and presumed dead.
The slide also destroyed four homes and severely damaged two other homes.
Anyone who has experienced damage to their home from flooding or landslides may be eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA). Details on how to apply for DFA are available on the Emergency Management BC website at www.pep.bc.ca.
There is a 90-day deadline to apply, so anyone affected is encouraged to do so even if they are uncertain their claim will be approved.
The RDCK could not have responded effectively to the many emergencies the region experienced this spring and summer without the immense support and help received from local communities, the provincial government, the Red Cross and other agencies and volunteers who stepped forward to work countless hours on behalf of their fellow citizens.
Search and Rescue, Emergency Social Services volunteers and the RCMP deserve special thanks for their efforts.