Officials with the City of Cranbrook, B.C., say they expect localized flooding in the city within the next 24 hours after a flood watch for the region was issued on Thursday morning.
The normally meandering Joseph Creek is getting dangerously high and officials are urging residents living in basements in historical flood areas to relocate themselves and their belongings to higher ground,
Wayne Price, the fire chief in Cranbrook, says firefighters and the city's public works department are laying sandbags around low-lying areas that have flooded in the past. but no evacuations have been ordered and none are being considered at this time.
"We've advised them that we're expecting things to peak this afternoon, mid-day. We'll have a reception centre established if we need to have the people leave their homes. There are sandbags available to private homeowners that may be subject to problems," he said.
Heavy rain raising southern B.C. rivers
The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued the flood watch for the Kettle and Moyie Rivers in southern B.C. after Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for the Boundary, East Kootenay, West Kootenay, Kootenay Lake and the Elk Valley.
The southern half of the province is getting pounded by rain, according to forecaster Dave Campbell, and that's why the advisories have gone out.
"This morning we issued a flood watch for those systems [the Kettle and the Moyie] and an advisory for the region in general. We will see rising levels in general in response to this rainfall," said Campbell.
Campbell says the fact it is cool in southern B.C. is keeping some of the snow in the mountains. But some parts of the Kootenays can expect up to 40 millimetres of rain before it lets up.
A flood watch means that river levels are rising and may overcome the riverbanks and flooding of areas adjacent may occur. River levels across the region are expected to rise Thursday into Friday.
Other advisories issued and lifted
The B.C. River Forecast Centre has also issued a high streamflow advisory for the Kettle/Boundary and Kootenay Regions.
In the Grand Forks area a lot of people are nervously watching the Kettle and Granby rivers. So far there has not been widespread flooding but seepage into some basements has been reported.
On Wednesday the Centre said it was maintaining the flood watch for the Moberly River near Fort St. John including Moberly Lake, but ending the flood watch for the Pine River near East Pine and for tributaries to the Peace River/Williston around Hudson's Hope, Taylor and west of Fort St. John, including the Williston/Mackenzie region on the west side of the Rockies.
The province has also ended the high streamflow advisory for the Salmon River near Falkland in southern B.C.