Flood relief effort lauded

Kelowna city councillors took turns Monday applauding the efforts of emergency personnel, city residents and those manning the Emergency Operations Centre in wake of the recent floods.

The situation has been so bad in some areas along Mill Creek, the city declared a local state of emergency.

"This gives emergency personnel the tolls to be able to do their job to mitigate damage to infrastructure, and to help support our residents whenever they deemed it necessary," said Mayor Colin Basran.

"My heart goes out to the people who are still, literally pumping, and have discovered they have lost items, and treasured items," said Coun. Brad Sieben.

"We spent a good deal of time talking about it this morning, and it gives some relief that we have a very dialed in staff in dealing with this.

Coun. Gail Given, who is also chair of the regional district, which handle the Emergency Operations Centre on behalf of all municipalities within the Central Okanagan, said the collaboration and co-operation with the centre from various municipalities is phenomenal.

"it's one team in that centre. Nobody defines whose community is rated ahead of the other," she said.

"It's just one operating team that delivers very effective, and efficient services to our communities. I know there's always concern that we can't get to as many places as we need to at the same time, but I think what's achieved...is in the very best interests of the citizens."

Given also reminded people this is the start of Emergency Preparedness Week, an appropriate reminder considering the circumstances.

Basran picked up on that theme.

"Kudos to (Given) for challenging your regional board members to have your emergency kit, your 'grab and go kit.'"

"You need to be able to have food and water for at least 72 hours. Also, included in that, your are asked to include prescriptions of course, a first aid kit, cash in small denominations. A full checklist can be viewed on the Be Prepared page at cord emergency."

Basran also sent the city's condolences to the community of Cache Creek, and the family of fire chief Clayton Cassidy who went missing on Friday.

"At this point, it's believed to be a result of rushing water, which he was out checking to make sure his community was safe.

"It's just another stark reminder of the work our emergency do in our community."

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