Heavy rain has forced officials in central B.C. to order the evacuation of seven homes in the village of Burns Lake, while another home on the Cottonwood River near Prince George was destroyed on Tuesday .
The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako also declared a local state of emergency and put another 29 households on evacuation alert for areas along the nearby Bulkley River, including the communites of Quick and Ebenezer Flats, on Tuesday.
The district has set up an emergency reception centre on 3rd Avenue in Burns Lake, according to the chair of the Regional District Lance Hamblin.
"We have sandbags available and I think it's important that people be aware of what's going on. So they should be listening to the radio especially in the areas that are prone to flooding so that they're vigilant and aware in case they need to respond to it," he said.
The River Forecast Centre says the river could reach flood levels near Smithers by late Wednesday or early Thursday, but residents are advised to watch the B.C. River Forecast Centre website for any changes.
The Bulkley River flows east to west along much of Highway 16 and meets the Skeena River west of Smithers.
Home destroyed on Cottonwood River
Meanwhile the B.C. River Forecast Centre is maintaining flood warnings for Baker Creek in Quesnel, the Cottonwood River near Quesnel, and the Willow River near Prince George.
Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre said 14 properties near the Cottonwood remain under evacuation alert while two properties are under evacuation order.
On Tuesday one of the evacuated homes on the Cottonwood River was destroyed by provincial officials after erosion from the floodwaters left it half in the river, and several others remain at risk.
A spokesperson from the Ministry of Forests, Lyle Larsen, said the home was plucked from the river edge in order to prevent the house from becoming an environmental mess.
"We would have had broken glass, splintered wood, electrical wiring, plumbing, asphalt roofs, shingles, that sort of things," he said.
But the home's owner Glenda Allen say they offered to months ago to shore up the riverbank with rip rap at their own expense, but all three levels of government shot down the plan because of environmental concerns.
"We were prepared to take care of ourselves, the government stood in our way," said Allen on Tuesday.
"You know it just ain't right. They never gave us a chance to do anything," she said.
Other flood warnings updated
A high streamflow advisory remains in effect for other tributary rivers in the Prince George and Quesnel area, including the Salmon River near Prince George and the Chilako River.
The flood warning for the Bonaparte, Nicola, and Salmon rivers in the Thompson region has been downgraded to a high streamflow advisory.
The B.C. River Forecast Centre has also ended the flood warning for the West Kettle River, the flood watch for the Kettle River, and the high streamflow advisory for the Granby River, Salmo River and Moyie River.
But river levels are expected to rise again across the region later in the week as warmer weather increases the snowmelt.