British Columbia floods wash over 1,000 volunteers in to vacuum mud

An army of volunteers is helping clean up after a record-breaking flood in British Columbia. The historic torrent, which saw the waters of the Quesnel River rise to 11 metres (34 feet), killed three people and flooded roughly 450 homes. The province has asked for help from Canada’s national parks to recover the costs of cleaning up, and officials hope to clear mud from the remnants of a nearby petrochemical facility on Saturday.

According to The Vancouver Sun, the good-natured volunteer group has been helping around downstream communities of Cache Creek and Sparwood, north of Salmon Arm, since the weekend. Over 1,000 members from organizations like the Firefighters and police responded to the call for help.

“We weren’t expecting this much damage, so as we were walking around and talking to some of the people around here, some of them came to us and said, ‘Well, we’d like to help.’” Oren Day, a spokesman for the BC park service, told the news outlet. He added that volunteers have so far hauled up nearly 350 cubic meters of mud.

Devon West of Dawson Creek told Maclean’s that this is not the first time his town has been hit by record-breaking floods, but that it is typically not this bad. “The community is back on its feet,” he said. “They’re doing a great job of responding and preventing any more damage.”

Read the full story at The Vancouver Sun.

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