Evacuation alerts expanded as floodwaters rise on some B.C. rivers, creeks

The village of Cache Creek, shown in a handout photo, is maintaining a state of local emergency due to flooding.

Large swaths of British Columbia’s Interior remain under flood warning as warm weather and heavy rain in the forecast put many communities on high alert for rising water levels.

The latest community to receive an evacuation alert is Christina Lake, about 550 kilometres east of Vancouver, where the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has warned 24 residents to be ready to evacuate on short notice.

Meanwhile, evacuation alerts have also been issued in communities such as Grand Forks and Midway, with one property receiving a mandatory evacuation order due to “an imminent danger of flooding.”

In the nearby Regional District of Central Kootenay, almost 900 properties in the village of Salmo and its neighbouring communities of Erie and Ymir are under evacuation alert, as well as a number of addresses in Duhamel Creek.

The Okanagan Indian Band has issued an evacuation order for a small number of homes along Whiteman’s Creek, where fast-moving water is undercutting the bank and five other creeks in the area are “rising.”

Hundreds of residents in British Columbia’s southern and central Interior have been warned they may have to leave quickly if floodwaters move in.

Flood warnings, watches and advisories cover about half of the province, although the areas most under threat are the Boundary and Thompson regions.

Heavy rain on Friday and Saturday, following a week of record-setting temperatures that melted the snowpack, has swollen rivers and creeks and set off mudslides.

The province says it has deployed more than 200,000 sandbags to communities including Grand Forks and Cache Creek, which has been hit particularly hard, with water flowing through homes and businesses.

The Ministry of Transportation says it is staging equipment and materials at key locations and keeping an eye on infrastructure that may need to be reinforced.

The Canadian Press

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