British Columbia·Video

CBC camera captures devastation inside Grand Forks, B.C., homes

CBC camera captures utter devastation inside homes as rescue volunteers go on a mission to find pets that were left behind in the evacuation.

Meowing rescuers wade through flood to search for lost pets as mayor urges people to stay out of their homes

Grand Forks search and rescue volunteer Andrés Dean floats a rescued cat to safety on Sunday. (Grand Forks SAR)

It's not every day that Andrés Dean finds himself meowing while wading through chest-high brown water.

But that's how the Grand Forks, B.C., search and rescue volunteer spent Sunday, on a mission to rescue pets that were left behind when floodwaters forced their human owners to evacuate.

Search and rescue volunteers went through room after room filled with dirty brown water as they searched houses for missing pets. (CBC)

Dean agreed to wear a CBC GoPro on his rounds.

The result is remarkable footage that shows the utter devastation inside some Grand Forks homes. 

See what searchers found when they went house-to-house looking for pets

Volunteers look for lost pets to stop human evacuees from heading back into flooded homes. 5:13

3 cats, 1 tarantula

Although no animals were found while he wore the camera, Dean's meows helped him track down and rescue three cats. A pet tarantula was also brought to safety.

Jaylee and Kyle Piper were renting the home seen in the video.

Jaylee and Kyle Piper's rental home has been completely flooded in Grand Forks. Rescuers waded through the house on Monday. (Briar Stewart/CBC)

Grand Forks search and rescue is making the special effort to rescue lost pets to prevent evacuees from returning to homes while they remains unsafe. 

Contamination concerns grow

Health concerns are growing as floodwater mixes with sewage and all matter of debris and substances.

Aerial footage shows neighbourhoods that have been overwhelmed by water, with only the top halves of homes sticking out.

A flooded area of Grand Forks, B.C., is seen in an aerial view on Saturday May 12, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C. public safety minister Mike Farnworth called the situation in Grand Forks "worse than a fire" when he toured the area on Sunday.

"A fire comes through and it burns everything clean, and here you have sewage, you have debris, you have cars underwater, you have the fact that the rivers have cut new channels," he said.

Evacuation orders continue in the Boundary region of Grand Forks where officials are warning of another flood surge later this week due to rapidly melting snow. 0:40

Grand Forks Mayor Frank Konrad is pleading with the people who have remained in their homes, despite being under an evacuation order to leave. 

"There's some residents still in their home surrounded by contaminated water," said Konrad.

"Please leave your homes and follow the instructions you get. It's for your own safety."

A second surge of floodwater is expected in Grand Forks mid week as warm temperatures melt the deep snowpack in the Monashee Mountains feeding the Granby and Kettle rivers.

A portion of a house that collapsed along the flooded Kettle River. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

With files from Chris Corday and Briar Stewart