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

Trudeau announces bioregional oceans protection agreement in Prince Rupert

Agreement announced in partnership with 14 central and north coast First Nations

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Local artist Danika Naccarella commissioned to design artwork for Northern Sea Wolf

The Sea Wolf symbolizes family, loyalty and the protection of those travelling their waters.

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

PHOTO: Shark spotted near Vancouver beach

Woman snaps photo of a seal, heron and what’s believed to be a Pacific spiny dogfish

Possibly lightning-caused fire burns within metres of homes in Kamloops

Grass fire remains under control by BC Wildfire Service

A year after fire, B.C. senior and his dog thankful to be together

Terry Theroux was separated from Scruffy for 3 months after evictions, fire displaced Highland residents

After World Cup lineup photographed, England urges media to help team

Now the England camp is actually asking media: Are you with us or against us?

Man missing from Fraser Valley prompts massive police operation near Grand Forks

RCMP saying little about the case of Wilfred Kilgren of Popkum who was eventually found in Creston

UPDATED: One person killed in fiery crash near Barriere

Thursday evening crash involved three large semi-trailers and a passenger vehicle

SAMS student Finn Carlson receives Art Foundation grant to study music

Finn Carlson has received a $500 grant for summer studies at the UBC School of Music.

Second Narrows Bridge collapse survivor remembers tragic day

Kelowna’s Norm Atkinson remembers what it was like to survive B.C. ‘s worst industrial accident

Most Read