PRRD release safety plan for Old Fort, residents confused and believe they are still on their own

James Dunn

The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) finally has a plan for the residents of Old Fort if another natural disaster like a landslide or a flood occurs.

The area has been prone to natural disasters for the past few years.

But as James Dunn reports, residents there say after reading the long awaited report they're still confused by the report and feel they will probably be on their own once again if a disaster strikes.

The area just south of Fort St. John is home to 150 residents.

Old Fort is now considered a flood plain because of the potential risk from the Site C dam project.

That according to a new report released by the PRRD.

Local resident Scott Campbell says he's now concerned for his family's safety living in a flood zone.

"I don't know what kind of danger we are in. I see nothing in the plan about how we're supposed to react to a flood, when or how." Campbell said.

We reached out to PRRD for comment on this plan. But they declined saying because of an ongoing lawsuit with the residents that is before the courts that Campbell isn't a part of, they cannot comment on the case.

The report lays it out with this flow chart on what the situation calls for, no matter the type of disaster.

Campbell says the chart is confusing and says this plan is not for the residents, but for the PRRD.

"They're going to make all the decisions for us, and we're supposed to sit back and wait somehow while they get around to doing that and not be involved in that decision making at all. We got a lot of people down here, a lot of those people got a lot of experience in life as well, and I think we should be included in those decisions that are being made about us."

Even with the lack of communication from the PRRD, Campbell says he's sticking it out, come hell or high water.

"This is the jewel of the north. What keeps me here is the beauty of this valley, and the quietness of it and the peace that we had before. Now with the landslides, with bc hydro being just up the river from us, we think that involves our life." Campbell smiled.

An emergency command centre has been established in case of an natural disaster. However, no residents of Old Fort have been invited to sit on the commitee.

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