Julia Cundliffe has lived on Gould’s Island for 45 years, but she’s never seen the water level on the Kicking Horse River as high as it is right now.
“This is the absolute worst I’ve seen,” she said.
Cundliffe watched on Tuesday as icy water slowly seeped into her backyard, leaving her with what looks like a pond about a foot deep by the afternoon. The water has yet to flow into her basement, but it remains a precarious situation. Cundliffe, however, says she isn’t concerned.
“I don’t worry anymore. What do you do? Mother Nature has it’s own way of handling stuff,” she said.
The owner of nearly the entirety of Gould’s Island, as well as the Island Restaurant, Cundliffe feels like her side of the river has been neglected over the years when it comes to diking.
“They forget that there are two sides to the river,” she said. “There are two or three spots that need to be reinforced over here…it’s very annoying.”
“I expect everyone to be protected, and me as well as everybody else. I’m not looking for any special favours but this has been a vulnerable place.”
Across from Cundliffe’s house, the basements of at least two businesses located on 9th Ave. N had experienced flooding by the afternoon.
Assessment of the situation on the Kicking Horse is ongoing, with the Town and the Province examining all aspects of the ice jam that has led the river to rise rapidly since Monday night. The alley behind 9th Ave. N has been blocked off and will remain closed indefinitely.