British Columbia

Holiday Inn Express offers emergency shelter to Colwood seniors before opening

'It was just an unexpected situation, and they came through with flying colours.'

'It was just an unexpected situation, and they came through with flying colours.'

Colwood Holiday Inn Express owner Lloyd Wansbrough said he was happy to help a group of displaced seniors. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

A Holiday Inn Express near Victoria took in more than a dozen seniors who were forced out of their complex by flooding on Sunday, despite the fact the hotel hadn't officially opened for business.

West Shore Lodge manager Mark Sup had to work quickly when water began to fill the basement of the supported living residence in Colwood. All 64 residents had to be moved out immediately. 

"We started an evacuation process by locating beds for our residents anywhere we could," he said. 

Sup said some of the residents were able to stay with family, but not all of them. So he called the new hotel across the street — even though it wasn't officially open.

"It was just an unexpected situation, and they came through with flying colours," said Sup.

Hotel owner Lloyd Wansbrough says the property was undergoing a final inspection on Sunday when the call came in.

"With a hotel, it's a very, very different capacity that you can offer to help the community, and [we were] very happy to be able to help," said Wansbrough.

Sup says the damage at West Shore Lodge is still being assessed, but he hopes residents will be able to return home shortly.

The hotel is now officially open for business. 

With files from Megan Thomas

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