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With B.C. regions on flood watch, residents asked to remain ‘vigilant’ and prepared

Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry monitoring for any closures

The province is urging residents in flood-watch zones to remain vigilant this weekend.

Large parts of the southern and central Interior of B.C. are heading into the weekend either under a flood warning or under a flood watch, with some communities more on edge than others.

The Emergency Managment Ministry is urging people living in Cache Creek and Grand Forks, as well as the central Interior, Okanagan, Boundary, southern Kootenays and Similkameen regions and on Okanagan Indian Band territory to remain “vigilant” and prepare a plan.

A release from the minstry reminds residents to have a grab-and-go bag ready, with essentials such as a first-aid kit, personal medication, food and water, and important documents, such as insurance papers and birth certificates. People are also encouraged to connect with neighbours, self-register for Emergency Support Services and stay connected with their local government or First Nation for updates and advisories.

Both Cache Creek and Grand Forks have already seen damage from flooding, which is now spreading to other parts of the province.

The bulletin issued late Friday morning placed the Boundary region, including Kettle River, Granby River and surrounding rivers and streams; Whiteman Creek; and Lower Thompson area, including Cache Creek, Deadman River, Criss Creek, Bonaparte River and areas around Cache Creek and Skeetchestn under a flood warning.

Floodwatches are in effect for Similkameen, Okanagan, Salmon River; the Middle Fraser region including plateau areas around Quesnel, Williams Lake, Lhoosk’uz Dene (including Baker Creek, Cottonwood River, San Jose River) and surrounding areas; as well as West Kootenay and East Kootenay; and Nazko River and West Road River.

High streamflow advisories are in effect for the Coquihalla River; Nicola River and Shuswap tributaries; the Upper Fraser including p Prince George (including Chilako River, Chuchinka River, Salmon River and surrounding areas); Skeena Region including the Bulkley River and surrounding tributaries; and Quesnel and Upper Fraser.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre advisories were followed by warnings of heavy rain from Environment Canada. They apply to Central Okanagan, including Kelowna; the South Okanagan, including Penticton and Arrow Lakes; Slocan Lake; Boundary; West Kootenay; and Kootenay Lake.

Provincial officials are expecting significant flooding May 5 to 7 due to a combination of high temperatures causing snowmelt followed by heavy rains.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry is also monitoring water levels for any impacts to the provincial highway network and residents are asked to prepare for unexpected highway closures and to check road conditions online before heading out.

RELATED: Interior communities brace for weekend rain as floods forecasted in Okanagan

RELATED: ‘Significant’ flooding could be in store for large parts of B.C., says expert


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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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