Thousands forced from their homes as flooding hits BC Interior

May 11 2018, 10:17 pm

Thousands of British Columbians in the BC Interior remain under evacuation alert – or have already been forced to flee their homes – as water levels in lakes and rivers continue to rise.


In Osoyoos,  a local state of emergency has been declared, due to the imminent threat of flooding and rising Lake levels which may “threaten properties and town infrastructure,” officials said.

The town has also ordered all residents to turn off their sump pumps and that the “act of directing basement flood or ground water directly into the town’s sewer system, through the use of sump pumps or other infrastructure, stop immediately,” as water being drained into the sewer system in current conditions is overwhelming pump infrastructure.

Residences with basement flood waster are also being asked to cover  their floor drains and use “other methods” of draining their flood water outside the home.


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A flood warning has also been issued for other areas of the Okanagan, including Mission Creek, as well as tributaries in Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, Oliver, and the surrounding areas.

The Salmon River near Falkland and Salmon Arm is the subject of a flood warning as well.


High waters are also creating problems in the province’s Kootenay-Boundary region, particularly in Grand Forks – a town of 4,000 residents – where water has now spilled on to the city’s main streets.

As a result, an evacuation alert was issued for homes in the town itself, as well as throughout the surrounding region.

Evacuation alerts and orders include homes on the Kettle and Granby River floodplains, as well as homes in Christina Lake, Midway, Rock Creek, Beaverdell, Greenwood, and the Christian Valley area.

Highways closed

In addition to properties and homes being affected, highways are also feeling the effects of the flooding.

On Friday, Drive BC said Highway 3 was closed in both directions, 14 kilometres west of Keremeos, because of flooding.

There is no estimated time of reopening for the route.

Water levels are also an issue on a section of Highway 8, 10 kilometres west of Merritt.

Rivers “have not peaked”

For those affected by the flooding, it appears things are going to get worse, before they get better.

Emergency officials warned this week that local rivers “have not peaked yet,” and that the peak could last several days. “Water levels are 30 cm above a 200-year record, based on Kettle River Ferry gauge in the US,” they added.

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