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

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read