Cariboo ranchers don hip waders to work in flooded fields

Drone view of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)Drone view of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Drone photo of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)Drone photo of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
A google earth image of the Rose Lake Ranch.A google earth image of the Rose Lake Ranch.
Rose Lake Ranch owner Ingemar Kallman goes out to feed the cattle in flooded fields as unprecedented spring melt continues in the Cariboo region. (Loreen McCarvill photo)Rose Lake Ranch owner Ingemar Kallman goes out to feed the cattle in flooded fields as unprecedented spring melt continues in the Cariboo region. (Loreen McCarvill photo)
Rose Lake resident Charlotte Morrow has been using her boat to ferry local residents cut off by flooding. Here the boat is in a flooded field Friday. (Charlotte Morrow photo)Rose Lake resident Charlotte Morrow has been using her boat to ferry local residents cut off by flooding. Here the boat is in a flooded field Friday. (Charlotte Morrow photo)
Charlotte Morrow has been using an aluminum row boat with an electric motor to ferry neighbours as fields continue to flood. (Charlotte Morrow)Charlotte Morrow has been using an aluminum row boat with an electric motor to ferry neighbours as fields continue to flood. (Charlotte Morrow)
Ingemar Kallman of Rose Lake Ranch dons hip waders to go check his cattle. (Loreen McCarvill photo)Ingemar Kallman of Rose Lake Ranch dons hip waders to go check his cattle. (Loreen McCarvill photo)
The fields at the Rose Lake Ranch have been flooded. (Loreen McCarvill photo)The fields at the Rose Lake Ranch have been flooded. (Loreen McCarvill photo)
Rose Lake resident Charlotte Morrow has been using her boat to ferry local residents cut off by flooding. Here the boat is in a flooded field Friday. (Charlotte Morrow photo)Rose Lake resident Charlotte Morrow has been using her boat to ferry local residents cut off by flooding. Here the boat is in a flooded field Friday. (Charlotte Morrow photo)

Some ranchers in the Rose Lake area east of Williams Lake are wearing hip waders and chest waders to check on their cattle as unprecedented flooding continues in the Cariboo region.

Ingemar Kallman at historic Rose Lake Ranch told the Tribune he’s even wondering if his cattle had an inkling of what was to come.

“I was swearing at my replacement yearlings for wasting hay in the winter,” he said. “They would pull it out and eat and the hay would hit all around the feeder, then it would snow and build up. I was annoyed at them, but right now, that’s our saving grace.”

The cattle’s efforts resulted in an island around the feeder where they can eat on somewhat dry area.

“Of course they have all the water they need and they can walk over to another spot that is dry. It was kind of a blessing in disguise,” Kallman added.

He and his wife Loreen are walking around in about knee-deep in water, but when they have to go to the back field they have to walk extremely carefully because it is like a river coming through.

“If you were to lift your foot too fast, you would be gone.”

There are seven different creeks flowing into the lake and the Rose Lake dam is on the corner of their property.

“I know by my own eyes that I have never seen anything like this,” he said noting water started flooding the ranch last Tuesday, April 21.

Read more: MOTI ‘triaging’ more than 100 road washouts in Cariboo region due to recent flooding

They are directly alongside the lake with 220 acres of property.

Calving is almost completed, but they are waiting on six more cows, who are fortunately staying on higher ground.

“If something happens we have heated sheds that they all go into anyways.”

Last week they still had three feet of snow on the ground and no water.

“I’ve been here my whole life and have never seen this amount of water come through. My neighbour is a few years younger and has been there her whole life and says the same.”

Kallman’s great grandfather lived at the ranch and would have put buildings in areas he assumed would be safe and far away from the water. But now they are seeing water close to them.

“A neighbour said some homesteading cabins down by the Horsefly Road are in water now.”

A hydro metre installed in 1972 at the ranch has never seen water come remotely close to the breaker and this week he had to call BC Hydro to come out because the breaker is under water.

“It’s close to the metre now and that sits about six feet up from the service pole. My irrigation motor and pump are 10 feet away.”

Last year his father-in-law, Ken McCarvill, a former woodworking teacher, built him a new box with a table to set it on.

It was about four and a half feet high in the air. They had to use cables and turnbuckles to anchor it from all four directions because of wind.

“He said, ‘we’ll see what happens this spring to see how much we should shorten it,’ and right now it’s possible the motor is in water. I eat humble pie on that one with him. But who could have predicted this?”

When Kallman and Loreen got together, she brought at 28-foot boat with her and parked it in the hay shed. It has a kitchen and sleeps six.

“She always wanted to get it going, so now I teased her that we could go back it up to the field and go for a float, and spend the night.”

In fact, a neighbour Charlotte Morrow has been ferrying others with a small 12-foot row boat with an electric motor because they are stranded.

Worried about what will happen next for everyone below Williams Lake in the next few weeks, Kallman said Hawkes Creek travels from their ranch to the Mountain House Road and then down the hill to Deep Creek.

“It goes underway Highway 97 near the gas station, travels through Springfield Ranch and pours into the Fraser River.”

Read more: State of emergency declared in Williams Lake due to flooding, erosion in River Valley

If you have any comments about this story please contact news@wltribune.com

flooding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Margaret Reid, program coordinator with United Way, with the last order of jackets, track pants, underwear and footwear heading to service providers to distribute to those experiencing homelessness. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)
Clothing and footwear piled high to outfit Chilliwack’s chronically homeless

‘This is something to help the long-term health outcomes of our community,’ says program co-ordinator

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

RCMP
Vehicle in alleged hit and run ploughs into road sign in downtown Chilliwack

Police are looking for footage of a gold-coloured two-door Chevy car

The map shows the number of COVID-19 cases for the week of April 25 to May 1. The darkest areas indicate communities with a daily average of more than 20 cases per 100,000 population. (BC Centre of Disease Control)
Surrey and Abbotsford battle for top COVID hotspot in Fraser Health

Two communities are among areas across province showing highest transmission

One section of a bank of community mailboxes in Ryder Lake was stolen. (Facebook photo)
Brazen thief goes next level with mail theft in Ryder Lake

Chilliwack RCMP confirm a section of a community mailbox was taken off its base and removed

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read