Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

BC residents and emergency crews prepare for more flooding this week

BC residents and emergency crews prepare for more flooding this week

While emergency crews had a small reprieve over the weekend, when floodwaters receded, a second surge is forecast for this weekend.

Though river levels have nearly receded to pre-flood levels, unseasonably high temperatures across southern and central British Columbia are expected to melt existing snow packs at higher elevations.

Rivers are expected to rise by mid-week, reaching levels close to those experienced Thursday, the district said.

The regional district advised residents not to enter evacuation zones, to keep sand bags in place, to avoid fast-moving waters and to be prepared to evacuate from their homes at a moment's notice.

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Campbell said parts of the Fraser Valley could reach historic flow levels as the Fraser River reaches nearly 12,000 cubic metres per second in Hope by the weekend, and could grow to levels unseen since 1948.

Several dykes "failed when overtopped by floodwaters", the district said Saturday night, as crews raced to fix them before the next water-level rise. With the assistance of aerial surveys and GIS technology, they also hope to have a more complete picture of damaged areas.

Unseasonable heat and the potential for rain over the next seven to 10 days could force thousands of people in British Columbia's Interior to evacuate their homes as rivers and lakes continue to swell and burst from the melting snowpack, officials said Monday.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has downgraded 74 properties from evacuation orders to evacuation alerts.

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The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said in a news release that residents of Hedley, the village of Keremeos, and those living along the banks of the Similkameen River should prepare for an imminent evacuation order, and people with medical conditions, mobility issues, and those with livestock or animals should evacuate immediately.

A high stream flow remains in effect for the Fraser River.

"This is - I've never seen anything like it", he said, describing 80- and 90-year-old homes that have been destroyed by the disaster and water reaching the windows of other houses. She said the community will need aid from both the provincial and federal governments for what she said would be a "massive and slow" recovery effort. "And as a province, we're saying, we're going to be there and standing with the people of this community to make sure that commitment follows through".

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