Local woman left homeless from mudslide in Pass Creek

Winnie Watson is very grateful to friends, family and firefighters who have all helped her during this personal crisis

The recent flooding in the Regional District of Central Kootenay not only resulted in power outages and the closing of many roads, but has destroyed the home of one Pass Creek resident.

Winnie Watson, 73, may have lost her home in a mudslide caused by the large amount of rain, but she is fortunate enough to have caring family and friends willing to go to great lengths to help her out.

“I heard from Nick Makortoff,” Watson said, “he’s going to open up an account at South Slocan Credit Union for [the fundraiser].”

The funds gathered, will then go to helping Watson gain entry to Castle Wood Village.

Watson has lived in that home since 1986 and now with it destroyed, she said her insurance company is not giving her a thing.

“I am very disappointed. I have a couple of words to say to [the insurance company] because I question them at least, about the contents, if everything else is covered. They said, ‘No it’s an act of nature and you don’t get anything.’”

“All these years I’ve been paying into it and what do I get? Nothing.”

 

Due to a heart condition, Watson cannot live by herself and that is one reason she’s seeking residence at Castle Wood Village.

“I am applying to get into Castlewood but it is expensive. I’ll have to use my whole pension cheque plus more for the rent.”

Right now she’s staying with a longtime friend at Stellar Place.

“She’s a good friend and will not kick me out. She says I can stay as long as I need to,” Watson said.

The whole event wasn’t sudden, but rather took place over a few days.

“I had friends call me on Sunday morning about a house in Slocan Park that had mud come down onto it.”

 

Watson’s friends only brought it up because it used to be their old house before selling it.

 

“So I said ‘That’s too bad.’ Then some instinct made me go and look outside.”

Watson noticed some of the trees on the hill behind her house were leaning in a different way.

“So I got my binoculars and took a look up the mountain. I said, ‘Oh my God.’ Part of the whole mountain — it was like a shelf — broke away.”

Watson phoned the provincial emergency number, explained the situation and a representative from Nelson arrived to check the soil.

Upon inspection, his words to Watson were, “Get out of here as quick as you can.” The bank was unstable and fit to come down any moment.

With his help, Watson loaded up her car and took off to her friend’s house where she is currently residing.

Over the next couple of days more and more of the hill came down until it finally swept over and through her home on Tuesday.

“I’m very grateful for the Crescent Valley firemen,” she said. “They took over and moved a lot of my stuff into a storage place in South Slocan.”

Watson doesn’t know what has been salvaged from her home because the firefighters were so swift in gathering her belongings that she wasn’t present by the time they finished. She expected to check the storage container Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s a big loss at my age,” Watson admitted. “It’s a big step to take, to take another lifestyle but hopefully I can adjust at Castle Wood, because they look after everyone really well.”

Anyone wishing to help Watson can call Nick Makortoff at 250-359-7827.

 

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