Flooding continues in the Kootenay-Boundary Region. (Cheryl Maddalozzo/Facebook)

B.C. remains at ‘significant’ flood risk if rainfall, heat continues

Around 3,600 people are already under evacuation order

The province is warning that the hot weather, along with continued rainfall, could continue to push water levels up across much of B.C.

“The prolonged nature and severity of the temperatures we’ve seen are unprecedented,” said River Forecast Centre head David Campbell in a Thursday update.

The rain over the next 24-36 hours will be the most important factor to determine how much flooding there would be, he said, urging people to be careful near any riverbanks or lakeshore areas.

About 3,600 people are currently under evacuation order and 7,100 are under alert, with 36 local states of emergency in effect.

Emergency Management BC has activated all its regional emergency operation centres. Executive director Chris Duffy said the government has reached out the other provinces and Ottawa for assistance.

The Trudeau government said it is sending about 150 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to B.C., although they are being deployed in the interior to help with the floods ravaging the Grand Forks area.

Grand Forks, which has around 2,500 people under evacuation order, could see more flooding in the coming week if rain continues to pour.

“This will push the risks of extreme flooding through… Boundary and the Kootenays,” said Campbell.

In the Okanagan, Shaun Reimer, who is the section head for public safety and protection at the Okanagan for the forests ministry, said Okanagan Lake is rising by five to six centimetres a day and is expected to peak at 343 metres above sea level in early to mid-June.

Reimer cautioned the area’s residents not to panic, noting this was the level that flood protection works should be built up to and not a guarantee that the lake would rise that high.

However, he said water was coming into Okanagan Lake even faster than it did in 2017 because of the “historic” heatwave. Temperatures have touched the 30s in recent days.

In the Lower Mainland, Campbell warned those living near the Fraser River but not protected by a dike to watch for rising flood waters.

“That’s similar to flows we saw in 2012,” said Campbell, adding those levels could rise even higher over the next couple weeks.

“We’re expecting flows on the lower Fraser that we really haven’t experienced in many decades.”

The diking network along the Fraser, in Surrey, Langley and into the Fraser Valley, are designed to withstand the 1894 “flood of record” in the region.

“That’s 8.9 metres [high] at Mission, plus half a metre of freeboard above that,” said Campbell. “We’re not expecting anything near to that level.”

Currently, parts of rural Langley, Abbotsford and Barnston Island are under evacuation alert. No one is under any evacuation order.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

Louise Baxter found after 72 hour search

Cranbrook hiker had been missing since Sunday, August 12, near Jumbo Pass.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Most Read