The Canasawacta Creek Debacle


Jessica Lewis

Who knew a swimming hole could cause so much controversy. I’m sure that when the dam was built, with the purpose of providing a place for local children to swim, no one could have imagined the consequences that would come with it.

The Canasawacta Creek dam has been troubling residents of Plymouth Street and Willard Court for the past two years. Flooding in April of ‘05 and June of ‘06  has made residents in the area stand up and demand that the dam be pulled from the creek. Although engineers have said pulling the dam will make no difference to the water level, residents in the area feel it has become a collection point for debris, and they want to see it gone.

OK, that’s the history. Now to the present. Six months have gone by since the June flooding, and still the dam remains. Residents are understandably peeved. They feel the city has been putting them off, with no intention of removing the dam. The city is equally troubled. Their hands have been tied by the requirements guiding the dam removal.

The snow is falling, and winter has arrived. All parties involved know that  the coming of the new season will only make pulling the dam from the creek a more difficult feat. Am I the only one who thinks a new plan of action may be necessary. If six months have gone by without the necessary conditions occurring, who knows how long it will take before a) the water level becomes low enough for city workers to get into the creek and b) the forecast calls for a week of dry weather, giving them adequate time to finish the project. The weather pattern has changed. Call it global warming or cyclical climate change or whatever you wish, but no one can predict how long it will be, before we have the dry weather necessary to pull the dam from the creek.  It could be six months or six years, and if recent weather is any indication, we may be seeing more flooding before we ever reach that point.

The only logical conclusion is to develop some kind of contingency plan. What that plan would entail, I don’t know. Perhaps the creek should be dredged, and the trees and debris along the banks in danger of falling in with the next rain fall should be removed. If one course of action proves faulty, you need to find another. Preventative measures should be investigated and instituted, because as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.