British Columbia

B.C.'s Interior braces for more flooding with rain on the way

Residents in B.C.'s Interior are being told to prepare for rising water levels and flood risk as significant rain is forecast for late Thursday.

Central Okanagan Emergency Operations advising people living near creeks or in low-lying areas to take caution

Residents throw down sandbags in Kelowna to protect against the rising waters. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

Emergency personnel are warning residents of B.C.'s Interior who live near low-lying areas near creeks and lakes to prepare for possible floods because of expected rains starting Thursday.

"We've just had really ongoing wet weather through the spring ... We came into that cycle last week with a lot of snow melt and a lot of rain which saturated soils and really led to some dramatic conditions," explained David Campbell, the head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

Campbell says more rain will start coming in on Thursday.

He says he expects a very similar type of response as last weekend when many parts of the region were flooded as water levels rose in rivers and creeks.

Two people are presumed dead from the weekend's events and search and rescue teams are still looking for their bodies.

Cache Creek fire chief Clayton Cassidy is presumed to have been swept away by the high water levels and 75-year-old Roy Frederick Sharp was presumed dead after his house was destroyed and swept away in a mudslide in Tappen.

Evacuation orders remain in place for certain places within Kelowna, Okanagan Indian Band IR#7, and Lake Country.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has issued a warning along Nicola Lake and river, predicting banks will overflow in Merritt and other areas downstream along the Nicola River.

Marie Brooks, a resident of Holiday Park Resort, Lake Country, says the flooding is a wake-up call to get emergency prepared.

"When mother nature takes its course, you can't deny that and you have to be prepared and you have to be prepared for everything," she said.

"It's always a wake up call for us in the Okanagan. It's either fire or the opportunity of floods, so have your back ready and be ready to grab that essential kit."

Waters have entered the Holiday Park Resort in Lake Country, including the golf course which is completely underwater. (Jaimie Kehler/CBC)

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations is recommending people in flood-risk areas to take protective measures like putting sandbags in place and stay away from the banks of fast-flowing streams, flooded area or bridges.

Todd Cashin, the suburban and rural planning manager for the City of Kelowna, says the city is carefully monitoring Mill Creek — which zig-zags through the city. 

The city is putting sandbags in a few specific trouble spots along the creek as a precaution and making sandbags available to residents.

"The ground is saturated. The creeks are saturated. Our reservoirs up above our plateaus are saturated. Our lakes down in the valley are getting almost to full pool," Cashin said.

"We're getting to the point where there's nowhere for that water to go."

With files from Daybreak South and Jaimie Kehler