James Armstrong has to wait and see if his truck survived the flood.

13 people rescued after Kitimat River floods

Big Spruce area flooded early Monday morning

More than a dozen people were rescued after the Kitimat River broke its banks and flooded the Big Spruce area early Monday morning.

Kitimat search and rescue teamed up with the Terrace swift water rescue team to save 12 people stranded by the rising waters. Twelve people were rescued via boat and two by helicopter.

James Armstrong arrived in the Big Spruce area late Sunday night.

“I was at the river’s edge down past the Giant Spruce park,” Armstrong told Black Press Monday morning. “I was sleeping in my truck and I heard a commotion at about 1:30 a.m.”

Sleepy and confused as to what was happening around him, Armstrong (pictured below) tried to leave.

“I drove around and saw the water rising… [then] I saw the water in my path,” said Armstrong. “I tried to drive through but my truck died halfway through.”

A fellow camper tried to help Armstrong get his truck out but with a dead truck, it didn’t matter.

By 2 a.m., Armstrong and the others knew they were in “quite a situation.” Someone called the RCMP and they all buckled down, hoping for a rescue.

“It was probably about five hours later that we actually got out of there,” said Armstrong, who spent those hours soaked head to toe from the rising waters.

“By the time search and rescue was coming through, they took the boat all the way down the road … it was deep enough that they could boat through with an outboard,” said Armstrong. “My pickup truck was probably under about eight feet of water … I couldn’t see it anymore.”

Multiple motorhomes were flooded out, he added, and a small car was swept down the river.

As for Armstrong’s truck, it’s a waiting game now.

“Some people told me that odds are my truck’s washed away,” he said. “One of the guides told me [we can’t get in] till [Tuesday] because the water is still rising.”

Some people were able to get their trucks further into the bush and onto higher ground, Armstrong said. He stashed some of his belongings with them and is hoping that if those cars survive, so will his things.

Search and rescue crews told Armstrong that the flooding may have been linked to high tides. High tide, he noted, began to go down at 5:30 a.m. this morning so water should continue to drain out throughout the day.

Roads to the lower Dyke, Big Spruce and Radley Park area have been closed due to high water.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

No charges to be laid against 22 pipeline protesters arrested on Wet’suwet’en territory

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Salvation Army celebrates National Doughnut Day with deliveries to front line COVID workers

National Doughnut Day pays tribute to the “Doughnut Lassies” of the First World War

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

Fibre installation for South Hazelton begins

Citywest says it will install cable in the summer and home installations in the fall

Annual bird count thrills organizer

Count took place over 48 hours

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read