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Boundary region prepares for second river peak

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
May 18th, 2018

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre said approximately 3,000 people remain on evacuation order — as many as 1600 in the immediate Grand Forks area — due to flooding in the Boundary region.

This comes as residents brace for the second wave of flooding as rivers in the  Boundary continue to rise with current forecasts showing probably peaks on Saturday.

“Residents and emergency officials alike continue to prepare and brace themselves for the next 24 to 36 hours when river levels will continue to rise,” Chris March, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary EOC Director said in a media release late Thursday.

“Precipitation will play a major role in whether expected floods are extremely severe or catastrophic.”  

Environment Canada continued its Special Weather Statement for the Boundary region Friday morning saying Showers will continue this morning over the Okanagan Valley, Similkameen, and Kootenay regions with additional rainfall amounts up to 5 mm are possible for Friday.

Environment Canada said the showers are expected to taper Friday afternoon.

In other RDKB EOC news:

  • The RDKB has ordered one additional evacuation order for a residence in Greenwood that became inundated as creek levels rose.
  • A geotechnical engineer and emergency officials flew the Grand Forks area to view homes near riverbanks where erosion and sloughing are occurring.
  • About 100 residents were permitted temporary access to their homes in the South Ruckle neighbourhood near Grand Forks on May 17 to gather important belongings and sandbag strategic areas in the neighbourhood and around homes. A further 350 to 400 volunteers joined local residents to help construct temporary sandbag walls. Everyone who was permitted temporary access was ordered to leave at 7:00 p.m. as the area remains under evacuation.
  • About 3,000 people remain on evacuation order across the Boundary region, about 1600 of those in the immediate Grand Forks area.
  • Crews continue to work to protect critical infrastructure in downtown Grand Forks and the surrounding area. BC Wildfire Service crew members helped to complete a nearly one-kilometre Tiger dam and continued to build temporary berms and sandbag walls.
  • Training of Rapid Damage Assessors (RDA) began May 17 and will continue through May 18. Teams will begin assessments and in evacuation order areas and rate structures by a green, yellow and red placard system to quickly determine the level of damage. These assessments will minimize the delay between response to the emergency and re-entry following floods.

The RDKB EOC said it’s extremely important for the public to be safe when near floodwater as river levels can rise quickly and currents can be unpredictable. The ground can be soft and unstable causing extremely poor footing. Exercise extreme caution.

The contact for the Emergency Operations Centre is 1-888-747-9119.

YouTube Video credit: City of Grand Forks/Kevin McKinnon    

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