UPDATED: Keep sandbags in place as rivers may rise again with warmer weather

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
May 11th, 2018

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary EOC is advising the public that despite river levels already started to recede, residents should keep sandbags in place due to warmer weather on the horizon.

RDKB emergency officials are cautioning that many evacuation orders will remain in place until a second surge of water from melting snow has passed through local watersheds over the weekend and into early next week.

“The flood situation is dynamic and we are expecting secondary peaks in rivers over the coming week. Our priority is to get people back into their homes as soon as it’s safe to do so, but we need to respect what weather and river forecasts are telling us – this flood is not over yet,” said Chris Marsh, EOC Director for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Fire rescue technicians rescued over 30 people by boat in the City of Grand Forks and swam through muddy, debris-laden water to in the City of Grand Forks to ensure everyone was able to get to safety.

A further ten properties were also put under evacuation order in rural Grand Forks due to soil instability after surging floodwaters scoured riverbanks.

RDKB emergency officials along with agency partners from the Province of BC and power utilities surveyed the entire region by air on Friday to begin to assess damage from the historic flood that has now devastated homes and properties across large areas from the west Boundary to Christina Lake.

BC Wildfire Service crews have constructed sandbag berms along Highway 3 near Grand Forks to keep the highway open and sandbags will remain in place until the Granby river has crested again in the coming days.  

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.

Affected residents, including those staying with family or friends, should register as soon as possible at the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Reception Centre at:

  • Grands Forks Curling Centre, 7230 21st Street, Grand Forks, BC. Register by phone: 1 800 863-6582
  • Midway Community Centre at, 692 7th Avenue, Midway

Emergency Officials say Boundary area rivers peak overnight

Record high water levels in the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby rivers overnight have flooded hundreds of properties, knocked out power in a large area of Grand Forks and trapped an unknown number of residents in their homes in the city said Regional District of Kootenay Boundary officials Friday.

The RDKB said emergency officials are flying over both the west Boundary and Grand Forks areas today to determine how many people are trapped by high water and to begin to determine the level of damage to property, infrastructure, transportation and utilities.

"The focus today is to assist those people who are trapped by high water and to complete a multi-agency assessment and mitigation plan for critical infrastructure such as utilities, roads, dams, fire halls and other resources we all rely on," the RDKB said.

"Weather forecasts are for clear skies and warmer temperatures over the coming days, which will continue to melt mountain snow meaning river levels are expected to remain high."

The RDKB said they are in the initial stages of creating a re-entry plan for residents who are currently on evacuation order so we can let people back into their homes when it is safe to do so.

Affected residents, including those staying with family or friends, should register as soon as possible at the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Reception Centre at:

  • Grand Forks Curling Centre, 7230 21st Street, Grand Forks

The contact for the Emergency Operations Centre is 1-888-747-9119.

Boundary deals with massive flooding

Not since 1948 has the Boundary seen a flood of this kind.

From Rock Creek to Greenwood, to Grand Forks and Christina Lake, rivers and streams in an around the Boundary have hits record highs.

Former Boundary Sentinel Editor/Owner Mona Mattei was travelling back from Kelowna Thursday and stopped to give Boundary Sentinel readers a look at the damage throughout the Boundary being done by Mother Nature.

Of course, when there is a tragedy there is community spirit as residents rallied around each other to show support to those most hit by the flood.


Categories: General