March 24, 2019, 8:06 am
Note to Gordon Kirby
Allan Kirby says
March 29, 2019 at 2:56 pm
Way to keep us in suspense! Have been waiting patiently for your answer :)
Gordon Kirby says
March 28, 2019 at 2:49 pm
Jack – I guess I should spill the beans eh? Let me go back a bit in time,
Could be at least 70 years or more. S.O.L.P. (South OK Lands Project) constructed an irrigation canal on the ridge above Sawmill Road and a 14” pipe was installed to drain the ditch of excess water down the hill to enter the wet lands on Sawmill eventually to flow some where?
It did find a way through Ed Rogers property south to my parents Frank and Marion Kirby’s at Rd.6 & Sawmill Rd. and then to the Rex Child property (now Ray Hewitt orchard).
Frank Kirby & Rex Child worked together to hand dig – ditching powder (try doing that today) to create a ditch to drain their properties all the way from Rogers property going south to Rd. 9 and into the river, and Frank Kirby digging a side ditch from Sawmill Rd. to connect to this main ditch.
These creeks are very visible today.
This side ditch when Kirby finally completed it to Sawmill Rd. was astonished to see that overnight the water flowing from the springs sucked all the rail bed down stream and left the rails still spiked to the ties high and dry – that was why the two trestles were built there – again the power of water!
These creeks and ditches were at the most 6 feet wide and have grown to 25 feet or more; again the power of flowing water! This creek is visible at Rd. 6 as it goes south to Rd. 9, was recently redug to contain water flow of Reed and Togo creeks. Years ago this creek at Rd. 6 was decommissioned. A new ditch was surveyed by Oliver resident S.O.L.P. employee Nelson Caughlin and under Project Manager Frank McDonald was dug to flow east down Rd. 6 to the Oxbow and then to the Okanagan River and is called Kirby Drain, this was done in part to accommodate the flow of S.O.L.P. water down to the river.
This brings me to what is happening today through Department of Highways, R.D.O.S. and Ecora Engineering a plan was put in place to direct the water resulting from the Mt. Kobau fire of 2015 which includes Reed, Togo & Tinhorn creeks to the river. In 2017 & 2018 water badly flooded and silted homes and properties from Rd 6 to Rd.10 in its path to get to the river. Hence the letter and Petition of support of everyone effected. The most notable change is to reroute the snow and rain runoff events to below Rd.9 bridge.
We are all hoping that this project you see from Rd 6 to Rd. 9, will remove all the runoff from Mt. Kobau Ridge (Questionable National Park Reserve area) and last many years; and thank goodness that the much needed funding was applied for by the R.D.O.S. from Emergency B.C. and was approved as it is a massive undertaking.
As we have said in earlier statements Fire has changed everything!
Publisher: Well about time – Gordon H? Kirby
Carolyn Tipler says
March 29, 2019 at 11:02 am
Thank you Gordon Kirby and also the Publisher for encouraging you to write this account. Very interesting history of the ditching system.
Publisher: Gordon’s brother Jim went to school with me. Gordon was older – har har.
Kirby worked for a number years for SOLP/SOLID – and very familiar with the locale and water.
March 25, 2019 at 5:09 am
A drive down Road 6 will make you wiser.
Publisher: I know the story just want Gordon to tell it.
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