Heavy rain, snowmelt and unseasonable heat up the ante for a weekend buffet of floodwater
Water keeps falling, rushing, melting and spilling over in the West Kootenay as a heavy rain warning and a flood watch combine to make it a Waterworld weekend.
The potential for flooding looms large this weekend as the rain which started Friday is expected to continue until Saturday night, compounding a week of heavy snowmelt runoff resulting from unseasonably high temperatures.
For those near moving bodies of water, the Province has asked people to “remain vigilant and have a household plan in place.”
For people in areas like parts of the Slocan Valley, Duhamel Creek and Kootenay Lake, evacuation alerts and orders have been issued over the last few days.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and its highway maintenance contractors are monitoring water levels for any impacts to the provincial highway network and staging equipment and materials are being assembled at key locations.
As a result, road conditions could be greatly affected (https://www.DriveBC.ca) so people should consult before heading out, noted a press release from the Province.
“It is important to have a properly stocked emergency kit in case of a travel disruption. Kits should include items, such as food, water, blankets, extra clothing and shoes, a first-aid kit, and candles.”
Late Friday the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) issued an evacuation alert for the Duhamel Creek community in Electoral Area F.
“Environment Canada is forecasting heavy rain with the possibility of thunderstorms … and the B.C. River Forecast Centre has the entire RDCK under flood watch,” noted a release from the RDCK. “The rainfall forecast may pose a threat to the structural integrity of the Duhamel Creek flood protection works (diking structure). Flooding of areas adjacent to affected waterbodies may occur.”
People are not required to evacuate at this time, but should remain vigilant and be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice.
Make a plan
A household plan includes putting together a grab-and-go bag that includes essentials, such as a first-aid kit, personal medication, food and water, and important documents, such as insurance papers and birth certificates.
People are also encouraged to connect with neighbours, self-register for Emergency Support Services and stay connected with their local government or First Nation for updates and advisories.
It is recommended to prepare an emergency kit and ensure preparedness, including moving pets and livestock to a safe area, in the event the situation worsens and an evacuation order is enforced. Part of the plan should include where to go if evacuated.
Source: Province of B.C.
Warnings, watches and advisories
• Flood warnings are in effect for:
Boundary, including Kettle River, Granby River and surrounding rivers and streams; Whiteman Creek; and Lower Thompson, including Cache Creek, Deadman River, Criss Creek, Bonaparte River and areas around Cache Creek and Skeetchestn.
• Flood watches are in effect for:
Similkameen, Okanagan, Salmon River; Middle Fraser including plateau areas around Quesnel, Williams Lake, Lhoosk’uz Dene (including Baker Creek, Cottonwood River, San Jose River) and surrounding areas; West Kootenay; East Kootenay; and Nazko River and West Road River.
• High streamflow advisories are in effect for:
Coquihalla River; Nicola, Shuswap tributaries; Upper Fraser including plateau areas around Prince George (including Chilako River, Chuchinka River, Salmon River and surrounding areas); Skeena Region including the Bulkley River and surrounding tributaries; and Quesnel and Upper Fraser.
• Environment Canada also issued heavy rain special weather statements for:
Central Okanagan, including Kelowna; South Okanagan, including Penticton and Arrow Lakes; Slocan Lake; Boundary; West Kootenay; and Kootenay Lake.
People can access the following resources for flood and preparedness information:
• River Forecast Centre: https://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/;
• PreparedBC Flood Preparedness Guide: https://www.preparedbc.ca/floods;
• For tips about how to prepare grab-and-go bags: https://www.preparedbc.ca/emergencykit;
• To self-register for Emergency Support Services, visit: https://ess.gov.bc.ca/; and
• For the latest road conditions, visit: http://www.drivebc.ca.
Source: Province of B.C.