Close to 2,500 residents are being told to evacuate as rivers in B.C.’s Kootenay-Boundary region exceed record levels. (Regional District of Kootenay-Boundary)

Evacuation orders issued for 2,500 in B.C.’s Kootenay-Boundary region

River levels have exceeded 1948 record highs

Thousands of people are being told to evacuate in the Regional District of Kootenay-Boundary as water levels rise to record highs.

An evacuation order issued Monday expanded the evacuation order to 1125 additional properties in the regional district, including 380 homes in Grand Forks and the south valley.

In total, 2,500 people are now under evacuation order in the region.

The 1,125 evacuated homes include the 380 in Grand Forks and the south valley, 114 in the Christina Lake area, 89 in the North Fork area, 12 in Greenwood, 35 in Midway, six in Rock Creek, 142 in the Christian Valley area, 141 in the Beaverdell area, 158 in the Carmi area and 48 in Westbridge and north.

Monday evacuation orders come on top of 33 properties whose residents were told to leave their homes over the past two days.

The properties, which sit on a 200-year floodplain, had all been put on evacuation alert in the past 48 hours.

All residents must evacuate their homes immediately and head to the nearest reception centre. Food and shelter will be provided for those who need it but even people staying with family and friends are asked to register.

READ MORE: Disaster Financial Assistance now available for those affected by flooding

The two centres are at:

  • Grand Forks Curling Rink, 7230 21 St., Grand Forks
  • Midway Community Centre, 692 7 Ave., Midway

The province has seen ever-increasing flooding in recent weeks, with rising river levels cutting off Hwy. 8 and leading to two mobile home parks and several other homes being evacuated near Merritt.

In total, Emergency Management BC said that evacuation orders or alerts have been issued for seven regional districts and seven First Nations around the province.

Speaking last month, provincial officials warned that this summer’s floods could be much worse because of last summer’s devastating wildfires.

“The experts are telling us that with the devastation to the landscape, the water and snowmelt is able to flow much more accessibly into the rivers and streams and so causes these high stream flow and potential flooding issues,” said Emily Epp, the Cariboo Regional District’s emergency operations centre spokesperson.

More to come.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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