The Guersters placed more than 1,000 sandbags around their creekside home in Princeton.

A new low: thief steals sandbags from B.C. home threatened by flood

The owners of a Princteon home spent days building barricade

Leona and Tom Guerster spent days filling and strategically placing more than 1,000 sandbags around their property on Tulameen Avenue in Princeton.

Monday night someone stole at least 50 of those bags, leaving holes in the barricade that protects the couple from the rising waters of China Creek.

“I’m pretty choked,” said Leona. “It’s a lot of work. Those things are heavy. It’s a lot of work filling the sandbags and packing them and lining them around.”

Related: Province has no worries about South Okanagan dam breaches

Guerster said her neighbor’s basement has flooded twice so far, and she believes some sandbags were removed from that property as well.

“If someone is wanting to protect their property there are free sandbags at the fire hall and there is sand in our yard. Come help yourselves…We are in need of them, obviously, too.”

Related: Warning issued to watch creek levels in Okanagan-Similkameen

The couple has lived on the creek for 14 years, and this is the first time they’ve experienced this kind of flood threat.

“I think in 2012 it was pretty bad. But no, we’ve actually never sandbagged before. I haven’t ever see it like this in the years that we’ve lived here.”

Guerster is a candidate for mayor in the upcoming municipal election, and said she hopes the motive for stealing the sand bags isn’t personal.

“I hope it’s not a malicious motive…I hope that someone was in need of them.”

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