Cariboo ranchers don hip waders to work in flooded fields

Drone view of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Drone photo of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
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 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)
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)
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

Police asking for help to find 11-year-old last seen in Surrey

Shauntae Joseph has been reported missing two other times since October 2019

What June 1 will look like at Surrey schools

High school students following a ‘tutorial model’ where they sign up through a set schedule of times

Surrey addictions officials say pandemic funding is wreaking havoc on those in recovery

Governments’ kindness taking its toll, recovery operators say

Influx of cross-border visitors to Peace Arch Park sparks concern COVID-19 could spike

Police, parks officials say patrols, education and signage have all been increased

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Aldergrove zoo to reopen Monday with new COVID-19 safety measures: spokesperson

June 1 reopening to be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Langley Lodge ordered to swab all residents staff, new cases discovered

Four new cases – two residents and two staff – have been confirmed at the long-term care home

Most Read