A disaster by any other name

My daughter climbed out of a ground floor window to escape the water that was pouring in

Re: Flood was no disaster (Letters, Nov. 28).

As a resident of Bowker Avenue my basement received about two feet of water and our adjoining suite was seriously damaged.

I’ve had time now to look back on that day, and I think the most overwhelming thing that stands out for my family was how discourteous the municipal workers behaved.

Apart from the operations manager, other workers gave us no information, no directions, no timeframe of when the water would stop.

My daughter climbed out of a ground floor window to escape the water that was pouring in, yet none of the workers informed her of what was happening.

When I arrived home to the mess a worker asked me where I was going, not even considering I may live there, let alone consider I may have family and animals inside to get to.

Another concern that all the residents shared that day was how long it took before power was shut off. Most of us were slogging through the water trying to rescue any valuables we could, and for me that included artwork by my children, letters, Christmas ornaments and photos.

It took a neighbour to call the fire department, which in my mind should have been the first response from the municipal workers.

It was the firemen who sandbagged, who courteously went door-to-door offering help, it was the firemen who pumped the water from our yards, and all in a calm and caring manner.

A letter to the Oak Bay News alluded to the fact that this was no disaster. I’m not sure if we need to quibble over that. I’m surprised someone would have the time to worry over such a thing. However it has taught me a good lesson that if any sort of “disaster” should occur that we need to rely on ourselves, at least to some degree.

The evacuation process was slow for most of us and then in the end after being sent to local hotels until power was restored there was conflict between government and the district as to who was paying the bill.

These are small worries that most of us didn’t want to be dealing with.

Our work will continue for a long while to restore our homes as they were, but in the meantime a simple apology or some contact from the municipality would go a long way.

Marilyn Lapointe

Oak Bay