British Columbia

Evacuations ordered in flooded East Kootenay

Torrential rains and widespread flooding prompted evacuation orders in southeast British Columbia.

A rapid rise in the Elk River threatened roads and homes in and around Elkford

These images of flooding in Fernie, B.C. was submitted to the CBC's B.C. Almanac Listeners' Lens Photogallery. (Todd Weselake/Raven Eye Photography)

Torrential rains and widespread flooding prompted evacuation orders in southeast British Columbia.

In East Kootenay, high water levels breached part of the dike causing water to flow through a trailer park and surrounding homes in the community of Hosmer.

Meanwhile, a rapid rise in the Elk River threatened roads and homes in and around Elkford, a community in the Rocky Mountains, bordering Alberta. Police say reception centres can be found at the Elkford Firehall and Fernie Curling Centre in East Kootenay.

On Thursday, more than 130 mm had fallen in just 24 hours, causing the Elk River to crest over the dike south of the Elk River Bridge, flooding the east side of Highway 43.

As of Friday, Highway 43 through Elkford has been reopened to all traffic. Drivers are asked to drive slowly around the barriers where shallow pools of water remain on the road surface.

An evacuation alert also remains, should conditions change.

While the Elk River levels has dropped, officials say overnight rain may increase the flow and ask residents to stay away from the Elk River and Boivin Creek and to stay off the roads and trails north of Elkford.

As of Friday, hundreds of people were allowed to return to their mobile homes and trailers next to Michel Creek after highwaters caused debris to pile up at a railway bridge. They remain on evacuation alert.

A farm along the river on the north side of Elkford is flooded. (Photo submitted of Joey Hollowink)
Flooding in Elkford. (Photo submitted of Joey Hollowink)
Residents of Hosmer inspect the flood damage so far. (Photo submitted by Alexander Hanson)
Flooding in Fernie. (Photo submitted by Alexander Hanson)

Highways closed

Elsewhere across B.C., weather warnings have been lifted, but the B.C. River Forecast Centre said streamflow advisories remain in effect for waterways throughout the Kootenay and Columbia regions.

Many highways damaged by floods and mudslides remain partly- or fully-closed.

The Trans-Canada Highway — Highway 1 — eastbound from Golden to Banff remains closed due to multiple washouts and debris flow sites in Alberta, but the highway is open westbound from Banff to Golden.

Authorities are advising travellers heading to or returning from Alberta to use Highway 5 and Highway 16 as alternate routes.

Meanwhile, Highway 31A between New Denver and Kaslo has been reduced to a single lane. Expect a 30-minute delay. 

Highway 93 north of the junction of Highway 95A is reduced to a single lane with alternating traffic.

And Highway 93 east of Radium to Castle Junction remains closed due to multiple washouts and debris flow sites in Alberta. Crews are working on the scene and no detour is available.

The Lytton Ferry also remains closed due to high water levels.

A house is swept into Hamill Creek, north of Kaslo, B.C., after Wednesday's hard rain. (Jim Lawrence)
The house can be seen being swept around the corner, down Hamill Creek. (Jim Lawrence)