Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

I’ve been following the rising rivers in Mississippi, Manitoba and the B.C Interior. I’ve done some reporting on the Mississippi situation, read on the Assiniboine to compare the response closer to home and then had more of a challenge figuring out what’s happening with our own BC river action (Cottonwood River/ Quesnel (sp?).

The concept of “sacrificial flooding” (surely not so distant from vicarious baptizing ?) blows my mind. The river may not choose to burst where you live, but we are deciding in the interests of protecting more or other people/ property you shall be flooded instead. It’s a water borne class system, which may have its roots in engineering decisions and calamity management, but ultimately the condo tower and its dependent infrastructure prevails over the farm and its independent infrastructure. I am curious about the choice to destroy a food source over a chunk of cityscape.  I pondered it for days until then it struck me — food can always be flown in would be the logic. I am trying to imagine how this perky decision to flood 150 homes or farmland over 850 homes will be received by those 150 home dwellers and farmers. Of course these aren’t easy decisions, but the notion of managing mother nature is reaching new levels of insistence and I suspect defeat. Where and when should the intervention begin is my question? I have a feeling it’s a few stages back in the process. Why are the rivers experiencing record levels of flooding for starters?

The river forecasting centre has today issued flood warnings in Nicola River near Merritt and the Bonaparte River at Cache Creek, West Kettle River near Westbridge and in Quesnel — the Willow and Cottonwood rivers. There are other flood watches now in place as well.

I am learning the names of all kinds of rivers, which is educating, if unfortunate circumstances in which to become aware of them. I continue to be amazed at how the geography of this country is such that calamity can strike in one spot while complete oblivion to it can happily remain in other spots.