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Princeton, B.C. in need of long-term housing solutions amid flood recovery

Click to play video: 'Princeton, B.C. in need of long-term housing solutions amid flood recovery' Princeton, B.C. in need of long-term housing solutions amid flood recovery
Princeton, B.C. in need of long-term housing solutions amid flood recovery – Dec 15, 2021

Nearly a month after a devastating flood washed through parts of downtown Princeton, B.C., the town is now facing several hurdles as they try to rebuild.

Many houses are damaged beyond repair and Mayor Spencer Coyne is working to find housing solutions for residents who can’t go home.

Read more: Princeton, B.C. battling the weather amid flood cleanup

“Right now, we are working on housing. Long-term or interim housing,” said Coyne.

“How are we going to put people somewhere during the period when they can get back into their house and rebuild especially over the winter? That is our number one priority right now, to getting people in a safe environment.”

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B.C. Public Safety Minister tours flood-ravaged Princeton – Dec 4, 2021

The town estimates that 100 people are in need of long-term housing.

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“We are also trying to incorporate people in the surrounding areas of Coalmont and Tulameen and anyone impacted along Highway 3. We are working to find those numbers which is not as easy as one would think,” said Coyne.

Read more: Two B.C. companies help Interior flood victims with more than $600K in new clothes

Coyne says that once the town receives a green light from the province, a ‘camp-like setup’ will be built in Princeton’s industrial park. There, the town can provide services like water, power and Wi-Fi.

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B.C. floods: Some Tulameen River Road residents still without power – Dec 14, 2021

Homeowners who are in the process of rebuilding have many steps ahead of them to ensure they can safely return home. Coyne says houses damaged by the flood need to be “stripped down to the bare bones.”

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“First you have to get your gas and electrical checked and those have to be checked off by someone who is certified. You also have to make sure that your house is no longer wet,” Coyne said.

“You have to take off drywall and flooring, anything that could possibly hold water has to be removed because it could hold mold. You can’t just through heaters in your house.”

Emergency support services has been helping evacuees and are in the process of transferring the response to the Red Cross.

Coyne says that it may be a while before Princeton is back up and running, but that the town is committed to making the recovery as efficient and successful as possible.

“It will be a long-term process and some parts of town will never look the same and that it is something we will have to accept and move on from,” Coyne said.

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Concerns over Highway 3 as B.C.’s only open corridor – Dec 7, 2021

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