The extreme flooding in British Columbia is hitting close to home for a retired couple from Estevan.
Garth and Margaret Drader lived in Estevan for 40 years before they moved to the west coast in 1993. They now live in Chilliwack, BC, which is one of the cities that has been hit hard by the flooding.
They say people in nearby communities have been evacuated, they've had family members who have been impacted by longer commutes, fuel and groceries have had to be rationed, and there's been planes and helicopters constantly flying over their home.
"Very extreme," said Garth Drader. "It's 22 thousand acres that are involved with this flood."
He added that farms in the area have been hit particularly hard, with several rescue efforts underway to save livestock.
"I know one fellow had 250 dairy cattle, and the water was rising three feet every hour, and so he had to get these cattle out, a lot of the cattle didn't make it, but there was 10 truckers there to get his cattle out right away. Farmers really coming together."
The couple's daughter and daughter-in-law both work in the school system in the Chilliwack area.
"They're seeing these little children that are impacted, and emotionally it's been very hard on children and the parents because it not only flooded out their homes, but some of them lost their livelihood...their livestock have been killed in the flooding," said Garth Drader.
Although the couple has been mostly hunkering down in their home, they have had to be mindful of gasoline and food supplies when they do go out.
"There was no fuel for several days because the trucks couldn't get in, and then the grocery shelves were empty because no food products were arriving," Garth Drader said. "They are rationing the city of Chilliwack to 30 litres of fuel each per day. Food products, they limit you, for instance eggs you're allowed two dozen per person."
He also said the traffic delays have been horrendous, with a commute that normally takes about 45 minutes now taking three hours.
Margaret Drader reflected on how the ordeal has impacted the community, with the flooding being just the latest in a series of unfortunate circumstances.
"It's just general life around you," she said. "You sense COVID made a change...this definitely has changed people."
"Fire and pandemic and flood, you just hunker down and get through it," she continued. "Do what you can to support the people that you care about, but even your neighbour, you check in on your neighbour. Because everybody's in it together."