A lake formed on Laidlaw Road when the bridge at McKay Road was jammed with debris washing down the mountain as a result of heavy rains. Ray Daws photo

A new lake in the backyard?

Debris washed down mountain, caused flood and lake on Laidlaw Road

When Patricia Marlatt woke at about 3 a.m. last Thursday, she heard some strange sounds outside her bedroom window.

“My husband was up and told me that our yard was flooding. I got up and looked out and it looked like we were sitting in the middle of a lake,” Marlatt said.

The heavy and persistent rain that had caused a mudslide to close down part of the Trans-Canada Highway had caused another slide above a bridge on McKay Road. Hunter Creek had essentially been choked off by logs and debris, washed down the mountain by sliding sediment and running water.

The water cascaded over the banks and onto the large property owned by Marlatt, her nephew and a few others.

“We got out there and moved vehicles and lawn mowers and trailers – everything we could – to higher ground. We’re storing my mother’s Cadillac on our property and we had to move that up to the road or it would have been flooded out,” Marlatt said.

Marlatt’s husband, her nephew and another neighbour then went to work, hooking up pumps ordinarily used for irrigation to pump water off their property, across the road and onto a cornfield on the other side.

“This is really unusual. I know we are in a bit of a floodplain here but the last time we had flooding like this was about 12 years ago when the same sort of thing happened,” she said.

In response to the flooding, Emil Anderson Co. was at the McKay Road bridge by Thursday afternoon, clearing the debris from under the bridge.

By Friday morning, the water had receded and the Laidlaw Road lake had disappeared.

While some flood damage ostensibly occurred in a few houses on Laidlaw, most had been constructed on higher ground and were spared.

“Now we are just running around, finding things like gas cans and tools that had floated off and starting the cleanup,” Marlatt said.

“It’s all good now, but I have to admit, I keep listening to the weather forecast and I’m not real happy when I hear about more rain. Who knows if it’s going to happen again?”

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