The cleanup is underway after heavy rainfall and flooding soaked residents of northwest B.C.

A local state of emergency and evacuation order was put into place in the community of New Remo near Terrace early Wednesday morning, as rapid flood waters rushed down streets and into people's homes.

Search and rescue crews were called in to assist with the evacuation.

"A lot of residents have water in their houses," said David Jephson of Terrace Search and Rescue. 

Localized flooding also occurred at Lakelse Lake, Kitimat, Terrace, Smithers and Haida Gwaii.

Yves Thilbodeau car

Yves Thilbodeau nearly drove into a creek when a bridge was damaged during heavy rains in northwest B.C. (Yves Thilbodeau )

Bridge washout

By morning, the bridge had completely torn apart. (Yves Thilbodeau)

Yves Thilbodeau nearly lost his vehicle when the Williams Creek Bridge between Terrace and Kitimat fell apart.

"I had been on it 15 minutes before and nothing happened," he said. 

"Then, when I got on the other side the whole front end dropped into a hole."

He was able to recover the car but was alarmed by the situation.

"I was kind of nervous ... I could have dropped in that hole and went down the river."

Dan Beaulac is general manager of the Nechako Group of Companies, which oversees highways for the region. He said crews are out in full force cleaning up debris and trying to keep drivers safe.

"We would ask that people be patient," he said. "Conditions can change very fast when we have these kinds of events."

He said between 130 and 180 millimetres of rain had fallen but by late morning the weather was easing, allowing crews to focus on cleanup and recovery.

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