Extremely high water conditions in Boundary rivers may continue for some time — RDKB
From Christina Lake through Rock Creek and Beaverdell, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre continues to increase its evacuation orders.
As of Thursday evening, evacuation orders had grown to 1390 addresses, nearly 2800 residents during the past 24 hours as severe flooding and flood risk — not seen since record levels in 1948 — plagues the Boundary region.
“This very difficult flooding situation is going to continue through tomorrow and possibly longer,” said Chris Marsh, director for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
“We have every resource at our disposal working to help with evacuations, emergency response, and recovery for those people who are displaced.”
Forecasts show the Granby River may be at peak flows, the West Kettle River may peak around midnight Thursday, and impacts on the Kettle River are still not clear, other than levels will continue to rise overnight may endure beyond Friday. Secondary river peaks to near or higher levels remain possible on both rivers depending on temperature, precipitation, and remaining snowpack levels.
The EOC has coordinated delivery of sand and bags to 11 locations throughout the Boundary where volunteers are filling, and in many cases delivering, sandbags to businesses and residents. To date, over 120,000 sandbags have been deployed.
Emergency Social Services are available for displaced residents at centres setup at the Grand Forks Curling Club and Midway Community Centre. All residents who have left their homes under the evacuation order are encouraged to register at one of the reception centres even if they already have arrangements for accommodation.
“Communities across the Boundary from Carmi to Christina Lake and up the Granby are affected by flooding right now.,” said Roly Russell, RDKB board chair and director for Area D/Rural Grand Forks. “I am awed and impressed by my neighbours, friends and residents of the Boundary.”
Russell said people, who have toiled to protect property for 16 hours only to leave it all behind along with families stranded by washouts and flooded roads refuse to complain.
Emergency responders and volunteers continue to assist on the front lines helping save people and homes as well as staff at the EOC juggling an impossibly complex and stressful situation so well.
“It's inspiring to see how people come together in these times as a community so full of resilience and strength,” Russell said.
The RDKB said Granby River has spilled over its banks through downtown Grand Forks and has left several streets closed or with limited access. The Kettle River has also overflowed throughout its course from Carmi, through Beaverdell, Westbridge, and Midway, and is flooding parts of downtown Grand Forks along with other residential areas.
DriveBC is currently recommending caution while driving through the area due to sections of road covered with water.
Residents affected by the evacuation orders, including those staying with family or friends, should register as soon as possible at the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Reception Centre at:
- Grands Forks Curling Rink, 7230 21st Street, Grand Forks, B.C.
- Midway Community Centre, 692 7th Avenue, Midway, B.C.
Call the Emergency Operations Centre at 1-888-747-9119 if you are unable to physically check in at the reception centre, or if you need help with transportation.
Important Safety Information
It is extremely important to be safe when near floodwater. River levels can rise quickly and currents can be unpredictable. The ground can be soft and unstable causing extremely poor footing. Exercise extreme caution.