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

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: West Coast youth learn the ins and outs of business

Students develop company ‘Wild Coasters’

Cost of living going up while wages are going down in Tofino and Ucluelet

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust’s Vital Signs Report shows need to diversify economy.

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Most Read