Kayla Pkachuk, 26, and her family – including her mother, fiancee, David, and her three young children all under the age of six – have been staying at the Westwind Motel in Chetwynd ever since they were forced to leave their home on July 10. She said her home actually flooded three times since June 25, but with nowhere else to go, the family attempted to pump the water out until they were put in touch with the Red Cross and advised to leave immediately.
"The groundwater table rose so quickly that the septic seal filled up, and that backflowed into the septic tank which backflowed into the basement," she said." We woke up on the morning of the 25th for David to go to work at 4:30 and put our legs – it was almost halfway up my calf – in sewage water."
She said the water has since dried, but everything in the house is now covered in mold, and they've been told it could be five months before the home can be occupied again.
Pkachuk and her family just moved to the region back in March from Sparwood, B.C., after her fiancee got a job working at the Willow Creek Mine.
"It took us a long time to find the place we moved into, and the only family we have is each other, we don't know anybody else. We've thought about just moving because we haven't been able to find any place to live, but it just doesn't seem smart to me at this point for him (David) to quit his job when we don't have anything."
Complicating their problem is that Chetwynd currently has a next-to-zero vacancy rate, meaning finding a rental property is near impossible. Pkachuk said she has driven around town, scanned through local newspapers and the Internet, but with no luck.
"I really don't know what to do at this point, I just can't find anything at all."
She said she is grateful for the assistance of the Provincial Emergency Program in covering the cost of their hotel room and meals, but she is not sure how long that assistance will last. She said her family cannot remain living out of a hotel room for much longer.
"We can't live in this hotel room, it's not working for anybody. Nobody is getting proper sleep and my kids are really unhappy."
She said she has considered moving elsewhere with her children and mother while her fiancee continues to work at the mine, though only as a very last resort.
"The whole reason we moved here is so we could be together as a family."
Pkachuk said any assistance the public might be able to provide towards finding accommodations would be very much appreciated, and the family would also be grateful for monetary donations to help them get back on their feet.
"We've lost everything, but I cant really ask for donations of furniture or things like that because I would have no place to put them. I can't even process what we've lost at this point because I'm so focused on trying to find my kids a home, it's just overwhelming."
She can be reached on her cell at 250-401-7528, or at the Westwind Motel at 250-788-3344.