Island-born Princeton resident stranded at motel with family amid B.C. floods

·2 min read
Jennifer Costain said her family, 10 people in total, are staying in one motel room after they were evacuated from their home in Princeton, B.C. (Submitted by Jennifer Costain - image credit)
Jennifer Costain said her family, 10 people in total, are staying in one motel room after they were evacuated from their home in Princeton, B.C. (Submitted by Jennifer Costain - image credit)

An Island woman and her family are among the many Princeton, B.C., residents who've been forced to leave their homes due to the devastating floods in the area.

Jennifer Costain says the local fire department came knocking at her door at midnight on Sunday and told her she had five minutes to leave the house.

"It's been horrible. We were evacuated Sunday night at midnight, no place to go," she said.

Costain said she and her husband, along with their four children and three grandchildren were all at home at the time.

"We went and stayed at a like rec centre, you can call it, sat on some chairs until about four in the morning. Some kind lady offered us her house for the night. The next day I got a motel."

Costain's family all live together in the same house. The motel, where they're all now sharing a room, is where she works.

Submitted by Jennifer Costain
Submitted by Jennifer Costain

She said that when they left her place, she could see "lots and lots of water," and people yelling, "let's go."

"Next door, the water was already up past their doorsteps when I was told to leave," Costain said. "Anything I had owned on my main floor is no longer any good. There's like muddy water on my bathtub, my fridge.

"I don't know, I'm just really overwhelmed. I try not to cry."

Costain said that at the motel, the family didn't have water for a while, and that they still don't have any hot water to shower or do laundry.

"You can't drink it, it's contaminated," she said. "You have to buy bottles of water to drink."

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help the family. Over $3,000 has already been raised.

Costain said she doesn't know when it'll be safe for the family to return to their home.

"They have covered me for a week [at the motel]," she said. "The rentals in Princeton, there is none. All the highways are shut down. I can't even leave this town due to mudslides, so I can't even go elsewhere to look for places."

Costain said the scale of the destruction in the town has been massive.

"It's going to take years to rebuild this place."

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