UPDATED:High temperatures increase snowmelt in Boundary
Mother Nature is not done just quite yet in the Boundary region.
Temperatures hovering around 28 degrees in the Boundary during the last couple of days, has accelerated snowpack melt — additionally, weather officials are predicting potential thundershowers Thursday and Friday.
Regional District of Kootenay Boundary EOC said srews continue to focus on protecting critical infrastructure in the Boundary area as we continue to prepare for the upcoming rise in water levels. The Ministry of Transport continues to manage culverts and repair critical areas in priority sequence.
For current road conditions, please visit DriveBC prior to heading out.
Once again, the public must remain out of evacuated areas. Evacuation orders have been put in place for public safety and those entering restricted areas put themselves at risk as well as divert resources from critical flood efforts.
The province has authorized Disaster Financial Assistance in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. For more information, please visit this link.
For up-to-date information on current evacuation orders and alerts, please visit the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary website at; https://www.rdkb.com/
Flood impacted people in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary can register by calling the Red Cross at: 1-800-863-6582. Many Grand Forks residents have registered with the Red Cross upon evacuation. Loved ones wanting to connect with them can call 250-442-1658 or 250-442-1556.
City of Grand Forks supports flood relief efforts
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said Grand Forks Mayor Frank Konrad is working closely with emergency officials to support flood relieve efforts.
In a media release Sunday, the RDKB said Konrad participated in a ground and air tour today of the severely impacted flood areas within Grand Forks.
“It takes a strong community to come together during times of crisis and work together so effectively,” said Mayor Konrad. “I am humbled by the level of loss I have witnessed today and will be working closely with emergency officials in the coming months in regards to relief efforts. After speaking with the Premier, I am confident in the continued support we will receive from the province during recovery.”
Konrad said the City of Grand Forks is working closely with the other members of the RDKB during this time of unprecedented flooding. With the forecast of warmer weather officials are cautioning the public to remain vigilant in anticipation of the second surge of water from the melting snow set to pass through local watersheds over the weekend and into early next week. Water levels at their peak were 60 cm higher than the previous recorded maximum.
“This situation is heartbreaking, and we’re not through it yet. The beauty I see in it is the tireless efforts from staff and volunteers, and the stubbornness and strength of our community,” Roly Russell, Chair from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.
Due to imminent danger to life and health due to flooding, the RDKB has ordered evacuation orders and alerts for over 3000 people in the Kootenay Boundary. We understand the significant impact evacuation has on residents. While we are operationally focused at this time, our planning staff is working diligently on timely re-entry plans to areas that have been deemed safe.
The RDKB said that the potential threat of flooding affecting properties north of Central Avenue, from 5th street to 8th street has diminished for around 50 properties, but this area will remain under evacuation alert as a precaution.
As of Sunday, the Red Cross has a total of 1173 registered households in the Kootenay Boundary. The Canadian Red Cross is supporting local authorities to meet the urgent needs of flood-impacted residents in the Boundary region.
Many Grand Forks residents have registered with the Red Cross upon evacuation. Loved ones wanting to connect with them can call 250 442-1658 or 250 442-1556.
The contact for the Emergency Operations Centre is 1-888-747-9119.
Preparations for next event underway as hot temperatures increase snow melt
Regional District of Kootenay Boundary said while river levels appear to be receding, there’s the potential for a second surge of flooding as temperatures are expected to soar this coming week.
This is why officials are cautioning the public to remain vigilant in anticipation of the second surge of water from melting snow set to pass through local watersheds over the weekend and into early next week.
“Public must remember to remain outside of evacuation order areas, this includes boaters,” said the RDKB in a media release Sunday as Crews continue to repair critical dykes in the Boundary region in priority sequence.
“Individuals looking for images of the floods must obey the orders that are in place and refrain from entering evacuation zones and floodwaters. A lot of debris is present in our waterways which pose serious safety threats.”
BC Premier John Horgan said the first priority during these floods, that have hit many parts of BC, is to help affected communities and make sure everyone is safe.
“B.C. is already providing disaster financial assistance to affected people in the Cariboo and Thompson Nicola regions,” Horgan said in a media release.
“We have activated regional response centres to make sure people have timely information about the latest conditions. We have set up emergency supports and accommodation for evacuees. We have shipped flood mitigation equipment and millions of sandbags to help protect homes and businesses.”
Three of the region’s rivers – the Granby, Kettle and West Kettle – all broke 1948 water level records by about 60 centimetres said RDKB.
The RDKB said emergency officials are assessing damage Sunday with the help of digital assessment tools paired with GIS technology.
“The Ministry of Transport is flagging problem areas with yellow ribbons and cones on the road ways to indicate compromised areas. The MOT is working in priority sequence to address these sluffing, cracks and damaged areas.”
Horgan encourages all British Columbians to prepare their homes, and their families, for a natural disaster with this being Emergency Preparedness Week — May 6 to 12.
“I Know the risks. Develop a plan and practise it. Prepare kits for your home and your car. We must all work together to prepare for, and respond to, flooding and other natural disasters.”
The RDKB continues to remind the public that it is extremely important to be safe when near floodwater. River levels can rise quickly, and currents can be unpredictable. The ground can be soft and unstable causing extremely poor footing. Exercise extreme caution.
The contact for the Emergency Operations Centre is 1-888-747-9119.