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Tree-chip fundraiser to offset flood-repair costs at South Surrey hatchery

Cost of replacing submerged equipment estimated at $2,500; more expenses forecast

Mother Nature threw a few curveballs at the Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club in 2021, and stewards of the South Surrey property are hoping a first-time fundraiser will help offset costs associated with addressing some of the resulting damage.

Club president Diana Barkley estimated Thursday (Dec. 30) that replacing equipment that was submerged during flooding that wreaked havoc across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley in mid-November will cost around $2,500.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: South Surrey hatchery, roads under water

“We did an assessment of some of our damages and we’re looking at a lot of the equipment that was inside the (hatchery) building,” Barkley said. “Various pumps, power washers and generators, they were all filled with water.

“And in the incubation room, the backup pumps were under water, so those need to be replaced.”

She noted that around 300 man-hours have already gone into cleaning up after the flood, including time spent by some of the club’s more mechanically-inclined members to get whatever equipment they could back up and running.

Now, it’s hoped funds needed for the replacement pieces can be generated Jan. 8 and 9, during a by-donation tree-chipping event. Barkley noted the fundraiser received a jump start on proceeds just before Christmas, with an $800 donation from a Delta-area real estate agent, and she’s optimistic that people looking to get their trees chipped will see the larger benefit associated with getting the task done at the club.

The service will be offered at the 1284 184 St. property from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.

And with the full extent of other flooding impacts at the hatchery still undetermined – including if the hatchery building’s drywall will need to be replaced; a cost that would likely be “quite a few thousand dollars” – Barkley said the tree-chipping won’t be the club’s last fundraiser. While none are on the books as yet, “I think we can expect to see more.”

Other significant tasks ahead that will require funding is the clearing of a logjam that has formed at a bridge along the property’s popular nature trail. Located about 1,000 paces along the trail from the footbridge near the hatchery, “all of the logs have jammed up there,” Barkley said.

“The water is still able to get through, but we probably have a log jam that goes, I’d say, 30 feet up the river, so it’s stuck at the other end of the bridge.

“It’s big logs, it’s small logs. The water’s still going through so the salmon were able to get through that, but in the summer when the water level is low, we’ll have to work with DFO… to see what we can clear out of that.

“If we got another big rain push like that – which I don’t think we will now – it could take out that bridge. We’re fine now, we just don’t want it to be there for next year at this time, when we’ll probably expect more flooding.”
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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