States of emergency remain in B.C. as warm weather triggers floods
Nearly 150 properties evacuated near Princeton; alerts in place for Okanagan, Similkameen, Cariboo
Warmer weather in British Columbia has prompted flooding and the evacuation of dozens of properties across the province.
Higher temperatures are melting the unusually high snowpack across most of B.C., causing rivers and lakes to rise quickly. Officials in some jurisdictions saying they expect conditions to hold for days.
Emergency officials say potential rainfall in various regions will likely make matters worse because the ground is already saturated.
The provincial government issued a written statement urging the public to be cautious and prepare for localized flooding, and issued the following tips:
- Stay away from river and lake shorelines.
- Don't drive through flood water.
- Protect your home with sandbags and by moving equipment to higher ground.
- Watch for sudden changes with water colour or levels, which could indicate a problem upstream.
Tulameen area evacuation order
Flooding has prompted the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to order the evacuation of 148 properties in the Tulameen area near Princeton because of "immediate danger to life and safety."
The rest of the town is under an evacuation alert, which means that residents could be forced from their homes at a moment's notice.
The district declared a local state of emergency earlier in the day on Sunday.
Cameron Bond, an information officer with the local emergency operations centre, said flooding in the area is not unusual, but the district doesn't normally issue evacuation orders.
Photos: Water build up going into Otter Lake. Active evacuation of properties in Tulameen, BC due to flooding of town centre. <a href="https://t.co/iHNlO7QQmO">https://t.co/iHNlO7QQmO</a> <a href="https://t.co/5sarZ7SFyZ">pic.twitter.com/5sarZ7SFyZ</a>—@EmergMgtRDOS
Most of the flooding is caused by Otter Lake at the northern tip of the town, where there is a mix of recreational and residential properties, Bond said.
The district has set up a reception centre at the Riverside Community Centre at 148 Old Hedley Road in Princeton.
Residents of affected homes should call 250-490-4225 for information.
The district has also issued local state of emergency for Cawston, near Keremeos, also because of the threat of flooding.
Evacuation order issued for the Upper Nazko area due to flooding. Please read the details about evacuation routes. Register with ESS at the Quesnel Recreation Centre. More: <a href="https://t.co/19bVVKgGcM">https://t.co/19bVVKgGcM</a> <a href="https://t.co/oZg0Jtf8xl">pic.twitter.com/oZg0Jtf8xl</a>—@CaribooRD
State of local emergency in the Cariboo
The Cariboo Regional District has declared a state of local emergency for some areas in the Nazko Valley region because of immediate danger from flooding.
The district said it has issued an evacuation order for 74 properties in the Nazko Valley region.
April 29th photos from Cawston and Oliver: Fairview-Cawston Road and Tinhorn Creek. <a href="https://t.co/IOZOI0kAzD">pic.twitter.com/IOZOI0kAzD</a>—@EmergMgtRDOS
Risk of mudslides in Central Okanagan
Emergency officials say a local state of emergency has been declared, because of the potential risks of mudslides and other spring runoff related issues.
Only two people were affected in Killiney Beach area which is mostly vacation homes, said public information officer with the Central Okanagan Emergency Centre, Axelle Bazett.
Bazett said a slope above the homes was starting to slide down, threatening properties.
The slope is being monitored by geotechnical engineers and updates will be released as soon as possible.
People are urged to avoid the area due to the hazard of the unstable, water-logged slope.
Self-serve sand and sandbags are available at 15 locations and can be found using this map.