December 1, 2021 Flooded out PT2

Published by Victor Barr on

Dave looked out his window, what he saw was something he couldn’t quite believe. A wave was headed his way – on the wrong side of the dike.

What the hell?

Dave looked into the parking lot and saw his car. Water was beginning to lap around its wheels. He knew he had to move. At Eighty-eight years old he wasn’t moving near as quickly as he used to. The octogenarian walked through the lot and opened the car door.

Water was rising. Time was moving in slow motion as he saw the water circle around his ankles.

He knew he needed to move his car. But the water was coming faster than he could move. His feet were drenched as he shut the car door and put the key into the ignition.

Would he make it to high ground? He wasn’t sure but he knew he had to try. He looked back at the little ground-floor apartment that contained his life and saw the water was covering the patio and rising up the wall.

Water was flowing rapidly and he knew that he needed to go. Going back to the apartment was not an option. He put his car into gear and drove away from everything. 

When Dave fled the raging river he hoped to go back to save some of his stuff. His son lost his home in the flood as well. When his boy tried to go back to save some of their things he was turned around. To unsafe, the authorities said. The experts wanted to protect the public. But there was no one protecting what was left of their stuff. 

So three days later, when they could return, mold had taken its bacterial toll on their stuff. Anything worth saving was ruined.

Dave felt ruined.

He sat and thought about what was left of his little apartment. The water had covered everything, it was seven feet deep and filled his home with silt and the moisture got into everything. His heart was filled with sorrow. 

He knew he was lucky he made it out with his life. At least he still had his mind. Dave’s body was fading but his mind was sharp. He could remember so much of his long life – he’d seen so much.

They called it an atmospheric river, but to Dave, it was just a huge rainstorm. The aftermath of the storm was unlike any he’d seen in all his years of life. These days they have to come up with special phrases for everything. 

His last career was as the local locksmith at Big White. He met so many wonderful people at the mountain. They were so good to him, especially when he’d lost his wife.

God, he missed Yvonne, his wife of over fifty years. 

He was a sailor for many years. When Yvonne died he decided to return to his first love – the sea.

He bought a boat and he was going to live out his days cruising the coastal waters of the Georgia Strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland of BC.  

Until some quack Chiropractor pressed too hard in the wrong place. Suddenly Dave couldn’t use his left arm. 

Living on a boat was too much for a man with the use of only one arm. Reluctantly he sold his boat and moved in with his son.

Before covid hit, they decided to move to the southern BC town of Princeton. His son bought a property next to the river and had everything he wanted. Dave got an apartment with a nice patio, close enough to his boy but a place of his own. A quiet place to live out his days. 

Even though Princeton was a little too quiet.

He could have never predicted that a tsunami would hit Princeton hundreds of miles from the coast. When a landslide struck Tulameen Lake it sent a massive wall of water downstream into the Tulameen River. The Tulameen River and the Similkameen River meet at the town of Princeton where they joined forces and suddenly submerged the town of three thousand souls. 

Of course, insurance for floods like this is not available. How could Dave have predicted that a tsunami would wipe out all he had left? His stomach churned in grief.

Now, where would he go?

He didn’t think he would go back to Princeton, his little apartment wasn’t livable. He sighed and smiled. Good thing he has friends. 

Now he would have to start over once more. Start over at Eighty-eight…

It could be worse, at least he was able to start over. 

All he could do was take one day at a time.


On November 15, 2021, the town of Princeton BC was flooded by massive rainfall and resulting tsunami and flood from the Tulameen River. The cost has yet to be calculated. Many people are left to pick up the pieces of their lives. Insurance is unavailable for natural disasters like this. Many other areas of BC were devasted by the same rainstorm that swept across the lower mainland and dumped unprecedented rainfall. If You can help please donate here.

Categories: Daily Journal

1 Comment

Sheila · December 3, 2021 at 9:17 am

Thank you for writing about Dave our dear friend
His wife’s name is spelled Yvonne

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *