British Columbia

Prince George on alert as ice jam continues to grow

The ice jam that's causing flooding along the Nechako River in Prince George, B.C., continues to grow, and is now about five kilometres long, a city official said Thursday.

The ice jam that's causing flooding along the Nechako River in Prince George, B.C., continues to grow, and is now about five kilometres long, a city official saidThursday.

Several homes and business remain under an evacuation order in Prince George. ((City of Prince George))

It's an unnerving experience for people like Meghan Hawes, who lives along-side the swollen river of ice.

Hawes' basement was flooded when the ice jam first started to cause the river to overflow its banks on Dec. 10, prompting the city to declare a local state of emergency and eventually evacuate more than 70 homes and businesses.

Now she is wondering whetherher homewill be flooded again.

"We are just trying to plan for the worst and hope for the best,'' she said.

Prince George city clerk Don Schaffer said the water in the Nechako has stabilized and temporary dikes are holding. The cost of dealing with the flood has reached $900,000.

Schaffer saidno one knows for surehow long theflooding will last.

"It's really unsafe to be around the river because you never know at what point things might shift and the water level might rise,'' he said.

Prior to the Christmas break, an estimated 59 million litres of water had been pumped out of the city's Pulp Mill Road area, according to city officials.

At least 17 homes and several business remain under an evacuation order; many others are still on evacuation alert, and a local state of emergency remains in effect.

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