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

Cheetham Team comes in second at Alberni Valley bonspiel

The annual mixed bonspiel drew 37 teams from across the Island and Lower Mainland

Seedy Saturday draws many green thumbs in Port Alberni

Char’s Landing was the place to be last Saturday

Port Alberni’s Star Trek fan association donates legacy funds

Alberni Deep Space Port is dissolving its charitable status

New form of martial arts pops up in Port Alberni

Darran Chaisson and DoJin Won hosting classes at Dragon Martial Arts Taekwondo

VIDEO: Port Alberni welcomes Gathering Our Voices delegates

Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations welcomed guests during opening ceremonies

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read