Tseshaht First Nation escapes flood damage on Vancouver Island

There is some relief for a First Nations community on Vancouver Island after rising waters threatened to flood two dozen homes yesterday.

Sandbagging started Sunday as some properties flooded, but no homes damaged by rising Somass River

Somass River, seen here in a summer-time photo, is threatening to overflow its banks and flood the First Nations community of Tseshaht near Port Alberni (Wawmeesh G. Hamilton/CBC)

There is some relief for a First Nations community on Vancouver Island after rising waters threatened to flood two dozen homes yesterday.

Tseshaht Chief Councillor Hugh Braker said some properties flooded yesterday, but no houses were damaged in the community just west of Port Alberni.

"So there's a big sigh of relief here today," he told CBC News on Monday morning.

Braker is hopeful the state of emergency, which was declared over the weekend, will be lifted as rainfall amounts now forecast this week are lower than expected.

"The storm track has moved south and we're hoping that it's going to stay away from here."

The council plans to meet Monday to decide whether the state of emergency is still required.

Sandbagging operations began Sunday afternoon as the Somass River swelled from the severe rain.

The state of emergency allowed the Tseshaht Council to preemptively commit resources toward flood prevention measures, and put plans in place to evacuate homes if the water kept rising.

With files from Canadian Press