Tuesday, July 29th27.0°C

Disaster relief from storm

The province is coming to the aid of those affected by last week's severe rain storm.

Since the event took place last Wednesday the City of Kamloops has been working to evaluate damage sustained in the community and surrounding areas.

The evaluation resulted in the City applying for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA).

The province has informed city officials help is on the way.

DFA is available for qualifying claimants, such as home owners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies, who were unable to obtain insurance to cover these disaster-related losses.

All applicants should first check with their insurance agent to determine if their current insurance policy provides coverage for the resulting damage.

Depending on the circumstances, small business owners, farmers, and strata property owners may have been able to obtain commercial insurance for certain losses.  

Click here for application forms and information about Disaster Financial Assistance.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible so that the damage assessments can be completed; however residents have until October 27th, 2014 to submit a claim.

Completed applications should be e-mailed to [email protected] or faxed to 250-952-5542. Further inquires can be made to 1-888-257-4777.

As applications are received, EMBC contracted evaluators will contact applicants to explain the DFA program requirements and schedule an onsite visit.


BC poachers hit the Yukon

British Columbia residents authorized to hunt big game in parts of the province that are adjacent to the Yukon routinely cross the territorial boundary to kill animals, says a Whitehorse conservation officer.

Kris Gustafson was the lead investigator in the case against Abe Dougan, a Kamloops, guide facing a dozen federal wildlife charges related to allegations that he illegally killed a Dall sheep in the Yukon in 1999.

Gustafson, who has spent the last 35 years patrolling the Yukon wilds for illegal hunting, is now testifying at Dougan's poaching trial in provincial court in Kamloops.

Dougan has said the sheep was killed in northwestern BC, where he was licensed to hunt sheep.

One of two photos entered as evidence at his trial shows him with a sheep near a mountain that is in the Yukon — 18 kilometres north of the B.C.-Yukon boundary.

Gustafson, who is director of conservation-officer services for Environment Yukon, said outside court that cross-boundary poaching is a big concern.

“We have concerns respecting any illegal harvesting of wildlife — and that’s a big one."

He told court he was the driving force behind a Yukon conservation campaign set up in the 1980s to keep BC hunters in their own province.

It included a program that involved setting up signs along the boundary and on the shores of float-plane-friendly lakes warning hunters they were no longer in BC.

Court has heard that in 1999, Dougan received special authorization via lottery to hunt sheep in a specific part of northwestern BC between the Yukon and Alaska borders.

He bagged a Dall sheep, which was the second-largest ever recorded in BC. The score made its way into the pages of the fifth edition of "Big Game Records of British Columbia," when it was published in 2003.

In 2011, conservation officials in the Yukon received a tip from an anonymous tipster telling them to look closely at the BC record book — specifically at the picture of Dougan with his record sheep.

The person said the photo was taken in the Yukon, court heard.

A mapping specialist with Environment Yukon then created a three-dimensional computer model of the Yukon mountains and searched until he found what looked like the matching spot.

In July 2011, a team of three investigators, including Gustafson, flew by helicopter to the site, 18 kilometres north of the B.C.-Yukon boundary.

They took photos from what the Crown says is the exact location the photographer who shot Dougan’s picture would have been standing.

The Crown maintains the mountains depicted in the backgrounds are identical, and prosecutor Lesley Ann Kilgore called the area geographically "unique."

Court has heard after hunting the sheep, Dougan was required to tell BC officials where it was killed. He gave them a location in the section of northwestern BC, where he was authorized to hunt.

Defence lawyer Kevin Church has questioned the authenticity of the photos and said investigators failed to visit the location where Dougan claimed to have killed the sheep.

“They don’t ever go to where Mr. Dougan says he shot this sheep,” he told court. “They never even try.”

Lawyers will meet this week to set a date for the trial to resume.

The Canadian Press

Officers respond to fake gun

Members of the Kamloops RCMP were on high alert Monday morning when they were called to reports of a man with a gun.

Officers were told a male was reportedly on foot, and in possession of a sawed-off shotgun. They found three men behind the Interior Savings Centre, and recovered two “airsoft” type guns.

One was a pistol and the other was a sawed-off shotgun.

These toy guns shoot out a plastic BB. From a distance they can resemble a firearm.

The RCMP would like to remind the public not to display these imitation firearms in public, as they can be easily mistaken for the real thing.

All of the three men are known to police. 


Cleanup underway after flood

Cleanup is underway in Kamloops, B.C., as the southern Interior city dries out from flash floods that dumped 25 millimetres of rain in less than half an hour.

Environment Canada says the rainfall deluged the city in less than half an hour Wednesday afternoon, gushing down roads that quickly resembled rivers.

Mayor Peter Milobar says it's too early to estimate damage or tell how many buildings were flooded, but he says a lot of debris remains across roads and tossed onto lawns.

Milobar says Transportation Minister Todd Stone, who represents the Kamloops area, has already reached out, saying his ministry could consider assistance if damage is too extensive.

First responders say dispatchers were overwhelmed when the storm hit at about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Crews answered calls ranging from flooded basements to drivers stranded atop floating vehicles and a boy washed into the Thompson River, from where he was rescued.

The Canadian Press

Rain shuts down city

UPDATE 4:15 P.M.

This afternoon’s heavy rainfall has resulted in flooding of city streets.

The City of Kamloops is advising motorists and pedestrians that the 10th Avenue underpass is currently closed due to excessive amounts of water.

Overlanders Bridge still has one lane closed to traffic while crews finish clearing the debris. 

Residents in low-lying areas may experience localized pooling on roadways and boulevards due to sealed drainage catch basins.

Residents are advised to use caution when driving in flooded areas. All crews will be responding to clear debris and pump water as necessary. Residents are directed to call 250-828-3461 if they are experiencing excessive pooling.

Send photos and video to [email protected]

Intense rain in Kamloops is starting to cause problems as streets flood, rock slides hit roads and man hole covers are blown off.

Kamloops RCMP say they have been kept busy responding to numerous incidents throughout the afternoon as a result of heavy rainfall that began around 2 p.m.

RCMP are now warning residents to avoid the Overlander Bridge entirely as it's reduced to one lane of traffic southbound, due to falling debris on the roadway from the run off up above.

A slide has also come down on Highway 5 in the northbound lane between Sun Rivers and Mt. Paul Way, reducing northbound traffic to single lane.

The third area of concern is the 10th Avenue underpass at Lorne Street, where water has accumulated and trapped at least one motorist on the roof of their vehicle due to the high waters.

Police have asked motorists to avoid these particular areas until the water has time to recede and crews have time to clear the roadways.

The storm lasted only about 25 minutes Wednesday afternoon, but quickly overwhelmed drains and other infrastructure, forcing water and debris onto roads.

In the middle of the chaos, Kamloops Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance were called to pull a boy out of the Thompson River that runs through the middle of the city.

A caller reported a boy screaming for help, but it was later confirmed he made it out safely.

Dan Sutherland with Kamloops Fire Rescue says their crews are responding to many reports of flooding in basements.

Environment Canada meteorologist Allan Coldwells says up to 25 millimetres of intense rainfall rolled over the region and he expects the rain to diminish over the next few hours.

We will have more details as they become available.

Send photos and video to [email protected]


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