Rain, melting snow pose flooding concerns across B.C. as evacuations lift

There are still about 300 Canadian Forces personnel, 380 wildfire crews helping with flood response

Many people forced from their homes by flooding in southern British Columbia have been allowed to return, but officials say there are still areas of concern in many parts of the province.

Evacuation orders for about 171 addresses in Grand Forks were lifted Tuesday, with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary saying the threat of flooding had decreased.

Residents of more than 500 properties across the province remained out of their home, and another 6,500 were on evacuation alert, warned that they may need to leave at a moment’s notice.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said drones were used to re-evaluate its evacuation alerts and orders. Residents would be allowed to return to their homes ”as soon as the situation is appropriate,” the regional district said.

READ MORE: Governments kick in cash for B.C. farmers, food processors

READ MORE: B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Farmers and ranchers have been hit hard by the rising waters, said Agriculture Minister Lana Popham. Cows were removed from two dairy farms on an island in the Fraser River near Surrey, she said.

“The flooding is taking a toll on farming and ranching families again,” Popham said, adding many agriculture operations were also affected by last summer’s historic wildfire season.

Temperatures have been unseasonably high across much of the province in recent weeks, melting snow faster than waterways can cope with it, said David Campbell of the River Forecast Centre.

“We, not surprisingly, have seen ongoing, dramatic, rapid snowmelt across the province over the last few weeks,” he said.

Enough snow has melted to reduce the risk for many areas that have seen significant flooding, Campbell said, but large melting snowpacks could still overwhelm the Thompson and Fraser rivers, and waterways in the Kootenay region.

Severe rainfall is also a concern, he added, because June is known to bring wet weather across the province.

“It’s difficult, really, to kind of stand down from the seasonal risk until we’re well past those weather risks,” he said.

Chris Duffy of Emergency Management BC said there are still about 300 Canadian Forces personnel and about 380 wildfire crews helping with the flood response.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

College of New Caledonia offers new automotive glass technician program

The program is offered mainly online, allowing more students to take part from across the north

Decision on Burns Lake’s workforce camp “pending very soon”: Coastal GasLink

Meetings to discuss new camp location postponed due to wildfire situation

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Most Read