Morgan says the Emergency Program Act allows the District to access people’s private property to conduct necessary work and ensure the public’s safety. In particular, she says there are streams that need to be cleared out and since Environment Canada has forecasted more rain, it is important to conduct the work now to try to prevent any future flooding.
Under the Act, the Regional District has the power to “acquire or use any land or personal property considered necessary” to deal with an emergency. It can also restrict travel to or from certain areas, as well as distribute supplies and co-ordinate essential services for affected residents. It will also have the power to evacuate people, animals, or personal property if it believes they could be affected by the disaster.
The area around Chetwynd experienced more than 128 millimetres over a three-day period. Some residents were even cut off from the outside world for several days because of the extent of flooding in the region.
The state of emergency will remain in effect until July 12 at 3:30 p.m.
The District will be holding a public meeting on Thursday at the Chetwynd Recreational Centre at 7 p.m. at which residents can learn about the Disaster Financial Assistance program. Residents can obtain DFA applications at the meeting, at district offices in Dawson Creek or Fort St. John, by going online to www.pep.bc.ca or by calling 1-888-257-4777.