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Driver says warning signs weren't posted before losing his truck to flooded road

Two men are rescued from a flooded Cowichan Bay Road Saturday morning by firefighters with North Cowichan’s south-end hall as tides rise. - Andrew Leong/file
Two men are rescued from a flooded Cowichan Bay Road Saturday morning by firefighters with North Cowichan’s south-end hall as tides rise.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Matthew Rocco wrote off a new pick-up truck to Saturday’s flooded Cowichan Bay Road.

He also faces $1,000 in monthly car-insurance premiums.

The local pipefitter blames a lack of properly posted flood-warning road signs for his losses that followed his truck’s 8:45 a.m. swamping.

Rocco disagrees with official sources who said road-flooded signs warned motorists not to use the road dunked during the wet season between the highway, and the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club.

“I’d never drove through those signs, ever,” he said, upset by the loss of his $50,000 Chevy Silverado, and water damage to Remington and Winchester shotguns.

“Why would I risk losing my truck and my job by being a hot-headed bastard? I have a class-one licence; I know how to follow the rules.”

Those rules tell drivers to use an alternate way to the bay when flood signs are pulled down on roadside posts.

Rocco stated road crews failed to lower those warnings Saturday, despite Cowichan Bay fire chief Ken Bulcock’s belief the signs were pulled down.

He saw no barriers nor warning signs on the Trans-Canada Highway.

What puzzled Rocco — headed for hunting in the estuary with pal Eric Watson — was seeing a yellow highways truck and driver parked along Cowichan Bay Road after Rocco turned left from the highway, on to Cow Bay Road.

Without those warnings, Rocco said he kept driving before hitting the drink and stalling his black truck.

He also claimed an attending RCMP officer said the warnings were not posted.

Brass with highways contractor Mainroad South-Island was unavailable for comment by press time Thursday.

Rocco was also miffed the highways worker later drove through the water and past this stalled rig, failing to help push or pull his truck from rising tide waters.

And North Cowichan firefighters in a small boat, that reached sinking truck, also declined to help push the truck out, Rocco said.

“That could have saved all this hassle but they were afraid of the water,” he said. “They demanded we get out of the truck and into the boat.

“The worst part is that I borrowed those guns from a friend.”

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