Environment Canada said the atmospheric river that hammered most of BC Sunday will continue to produce heavy rains for Monday.
The inclement weather has prompted Environment Canada to issue a Rainfall Warning for Kootenay Lake, Arrow Lakes and Slocan Lakes as well as a Special Weather Statement for the Boundary Region.
For most of Monday, Environment Canada said the heavy rain, with amounts expected between 10 to 25 mm, will ease to scattered flurries or rain showers this evening.
“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads,” said the Environment Canada website.
“Rapidly rising rivers and creeks can sweep away bridges, culverts, buildings, and people. Don't approach washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.”
In the Boundary region, Environment Canada said the region can expect strong to gusty winds for most of Monday, and through into the evening.
“A low will develop over the BC interior this morning,” said the Environment Canada website.
“Southerly winds are forecast to gust up to 50-70 km/h ahead of the low starting this morning. As the low moves into Alberta late this afternoon, winds will shift to the west or northwest, gusting to 50-70 km/h through this evening.
Environment Canada said the winds will ease tonight as the low moves further east.
Local Regional Districts monitoring river levels
The Regional Districts of Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary said in media releases Monday that both are closely monitoring river levels given the flood situation in other parts of the province.
“While our rivers have enough capacity this time of year to handle this amount of rainfall, our smaller systems (creeks and streams) will be more responsive, so we’re monitoring those closely,” said Chris Johnson, RDCK EOC Director.
“With the forecast calling for continued rain over the next 12-24 hours, we’ll be in regular contact with our partners at Environment & Climate Change Canada and the BC River Forecast Centre and will communicate any increased risk through our normal channels.”
Mark Stephens, the RDKB’s manager of emergency programs said his department is also paying close attention to the weather and stream flows.
“The rivers that we monitor are not showing concerning levels, but we continue to monitor the situation,” says Mark Stephens, the RDKB’s manager of emergency programs.
The RDKB urges residents to be aware of changing weather and water levels, as well as debris flows.
For information on flood preparedness, please visit:
- The RDKB encourages everyone to sign up for its emergency notification system at https://ca.voyent-alert.com/vras/client.html#!/user-registration
- Information on RDKB emergencies is also available at https://rdkb.com/Public-Safety/Emergency-Management and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts: https://www.facebook.com/rdkbdotcom
Meanwhile, the RDCK encourages residents to remain prepared for unexpected events or emergencies by making a plan and having a household emergency kit and a grab and go bag. Information about Evacuation Orders and Alerts in the RDCK can be found on the RDCK website, Facebook and Twitter.
For details about evacuations and emergency preparedness, along with other resources, please visit http://www.rdck.ca/eocinfo.
City of Merritt issues Evacuation Order
Meanwhile Sunday’s intense rainfall force the City of Merritt to issue an Evacuation Order for the 200-year flood plain of the Coldwater River, south of Nicola Avenue.
The order on the City of Merritt website said anyone within the 200-year flood plain of the Coldwater River, South of Nicola Avenue must evacuate immediately.
“The City will update this evacuation order as soon as possible with specific property addresses,” the order said.
“Residents under Evacuation Order should register at the ESS Reception Centre at 1950 Mamette Ave (Merritt Civic Centre).”
The City of Merritt, with a population of 7,100, said it currently has 50 beds at the ESS Reception Centre and are working on obtaining more.
“We are strongly encouraging residents to billet with friends and family in the community, as this is currently the safest option for evacuees,” the City of Merritt Evacuation Order said.
The floodwaters in Merritt have overwhelmed bridges and has left the city sewage treatment plant inoperable.