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Westside Road rebuilding process slow, Okanagan residents say

Click to play video: 'Westside Road recovery process slow, residents say' Westside Road recovery process slow, residents say
Westside Road recovery process slow, residents say – Dec 22, 2021

It’s been more than three months since the White Rock Lake wildfire ripped through the Westside Road community and residents are saying their rebuilding process is turning out to be a slow one.

“A lot of them have been out here doing cleanup and getting ready to rebuild,” said Westside Road resident Bill Nutter.

“But it’s going to be a long time until these people get their houses done.”

Nutter, whose own home was spared, has talked to many of his displaced neighbours about what they’re going to do next.

“Some of them are anxious to get at it, to begin rebuilding,” said Nutter.

“There is a couple families who aren’t going to rebuild. Their heartbreak was just (too great). They’re just going to give it up and sell the properties.”

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The Regional District of Central Okanagan said there is a long list of things people have to do before any sort of repair work can even start.

Residents have to deal with insurance claims and assessments, and also getting approved for new permits.

“The regional district has issued a number of demolition permits, which is the first step after losing a house and we have also issued a few building permits now,” said Wayne Carson, RDCO’s west regional director.

One of the issues the regional district director foresees is getting the necessary contractors to come to the area to work on the homes.

“We are a long way out. If you’re a contractor firm working out of Kelowna or Vernon, you’ve got yourself a half-hour drive each way to just get out here,” said Carson.

There are more than a few families in the recovery process. More than 80 homes were lost in the neighbourhood to the White Rock Lake wildfire back in August.

Click to play video: 'Extreme wildfire seasons may become common in B.C.' Extreme wildfire seasons may become common in B.C.
Extreme wildfire seasons may become common in B.C – Nov 28, 2021

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