Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - British Columbia is well known for its stunning natural beauty, especially the lush forest of old-growth trees. But did you know that over the last few years much of the landscape has undergone clear cutting? This is where forests are logged and left with large swaths of empty land. This is a huge problem for the future climate, and residents in cities like Grand Forks B.C. are facing the consequences of clear cutting head on. Join us in this next film to see how this community is at risk of flooding and much more. From Ramshackle Pictures, this is "Waterlogged." (soft electronic music) (water sloshing) (anticipatory music) - [Tanya] Normally warm spring weather is something to celebrate, but in parts of B.C.'s Southern Interior, it has unleashed destructive floods, the worst in 70 years. - [Presenter 1] The city of Grand Forks was the hardest hit of two dozen communities that declared states of emergency over the last few days. It sits where the Granby and Kettle Rivers meet, and both are expected to surge again. - These are the sandbags from 2020. Tried to protect my house again, didn't really work that well. (Jennifer laughs) 2017, I had a foot and a half of water in my house. 2018, I had four feet of water in my house. The water was up to here in the house in 2018. (gentle music) The flood of 2018 was a shock to the community, people were not prepared, the city and the regional district, they weren't prepared. - [Presenter 2] Three days after the water rushed into this neighborhood, more than 100 homes still sit submerged. - [Presenter 1] Nearly 3,000 people remain under evacuation order. (gentle music continues) - [Jennifer] This is the Kettle River. It was massively fast and powerful during the 2018 flood, a lot different from this peaceful, calm, little stream that it looks like right now. (gentle music) (water whooshing) - [Presenter 2] Two days ago, this is how downtown Grand Forks looked. (sandbag rustling) Even at those businesses that were lucky enough to stay mostly dry, it's all hands on deck today. - We're just trying to keep it dry so we can open up eventually, but who knows this might ruin us and a lot of other people I think. - I don't even know what words to use to describe this right now as this is way bigger than just the Grand Forks wide of 2018, this is something that's B.C. wide, and it's gonna have long term consequences. (gentle music continues) (dramatic music) - When I saw what was happening to the community in 2018, when I saw friends and neighbors and the shock that they were going through I thought this is a story that needs to be told. So within a few days I started filming a documentary. So can you tell me how you felt when you first saw this? - I was just devastated. - And then I thought, well, if I'm gonna make a documentary, if I'm gonna tell our stories, I'd better find out what was the cause of the flood. (dramatic music) I assumed like a lot of people that the B.C. government was taking care of our forests in a sustainable way. I had lived in Asulkan Valley and I knew that they were logging, but I traveled mostly on the main roads so I didn't see the extensive clear cuts. (dramatic music continues) The winter of 2017, 2018, there was high snow pack in the mountains above here in our watershed, and we also had a lot of heat in April of 2018. So there was sort of a combination of factors, but people in town who were loggers started telling me that it's the clear cut logging in our watershed. (dramatic music continues) A watershed is all the streams and land forms and the underground water flow that flows into a drainage basin. Our drainage basin is the ground being the Kettle river, and our watershed is 8,000 square kilometers of forests. When those trees are removed from the landscape, when they're clear cut off the landscape, there just isn't enough trees and vegetation and intact forests to hold the water the way it used to. (dramatic music continues) - What's happening in the boundary country is scary, it's scared the hell outta me because there's nobody looking after it, they're just taking, running it into the ground. (dramatic music continues) - Somebody referred me to Herb Hammond who's a forest ecologist living in Asulkan Valley, so he was generous enough to do an interview with me. (dramatic music continues) - If you fly over the Kettle River watershed, you're left with your mouth hanging open. It's incredible the amount of clear cut logging that has occurred there. (dramatic music continues) What happens in this watershed now in those clear cuts and young forests up until the time they're probably 70 or 80 years old, most of that precipitation that used to be moved across this landscape that stays put as snow, and in the spring because it's directly exposed to sunlight, it melts about 30% faster. So you have 30% deeper snow packs that melt 30% faster, that creates spring floods and fall droughts. (dramatic music continues) - We've had greater than average flooding here in the past three out of four years, and it's a combination, yeah, climate change is a contributor, climate change isn't going away, clear cut forestry is the one factor that we can actually control, we can't control how much snow is coming down, we can't control how hot it's gonna get here in April, but we can control how many trees we're taking off the landscape. (dramatic music continues) - We're looking at a severe cut block. This block is roughly 1,200 and somewhat hectares. What you have here now is no retention, and hence you're gonna get lots of floods and lots of silt and gravel and sand in the watersheds. (dramatic music continues) Yeah, and that's pretty massive, aye. (dramatic music continues) There's one guy that says it's Armageddon. - Industrial forestry the way we do it is completely incompatible with maintaining water quality quantity and timing of flow. There's no way around that. - It's not that we're anti logging, the point is that we want our forest to be managed in a different way so that we're still as a community reaping economic benefits, but we're not doing so much damage. (gentle music) (water splashing) - Oh man. - [Presenter 2] A times firefighters had to swim through the water (window knocking) (firefighter sighs) polluted with toxic chemicals and sewage. - Oh my goodness. - [Presenter 2] This is the first time Kyle and Jaylee Piper have seen inside the home where they lived with their 11 year old daughter. - [Kyle] My daughter's room destroyed. (dramatic music) This is the neighborhood of North Ruckle and it was hit really hard by the flood. All of this neighborhood, there's about 100 houses total that are being demolished in making way for flood infrastructure. So about 100 people, about 100 families had to find new places to live. (gentle continues) - It's like somebody come along and hit you with a baseball bat in the side of the head, I mean, it's a shock, right?