Thunderstorms Expected to Add to Flood Woes in South-Central BC

Burgess Pierre and Malissa Smith of Katzie First Nation pile sandbags on Barnston Island in Surrey.
Mike Bell  
PNG

Burgess Pierre and Malissa Smith of Katzie First Nation pile sandbags on Barnston Island in Surrey. Mike Bell PNG

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have deployed 300 troops to support the government of British Columbia in its flood relief efforts as the province braces for a second wave of record-breaking floods, officials at National Defence said Thursday.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Goodale said that he had spoken with his provincial counterpart Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

"Troops are deploying to the affected areas and will provide assistance with evacuations, help protect key assets from flood damage, and bolster sandbagging efforts", Goodale said.

"British Columbians can rest assured that help will be provided as soon as possible".

Following consecutive days of heavy rain in the area and warm sunny weather in the forecast coupled with plenty of snow left in the mountains to melt, several rivers are forecast to rise above the 100-year level by Friday, bringing another surge of flooding to the region.

Evacuation orders have forced about 3,000 people in the area from their homes, and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has cautioned even more evacuations could be necessary along the Kettle River watershed due to sloughing and erosion of the riverbanks. Our teams are uniquely positioned to respond to disasters and meet the needs of our community. "On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to thank all of the first responders and volunteers working hard to keep everyone safe".

The request for military assistance has been approved by the Federal Government, after floods have ravaged parts of southern British Columbia.

School District 51 says its 10 schools and the development centre will be closed today.

A state of local emergency was in effect across the entire neighbouring Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen which posted on its website that provincial agencies are closely monitoring the levels of Osoyoos Lake and preparing for evacuation orders if required.

Farther east, the Regional District of Central Kootenay has expanded evacuation alerts along Erie Creek and the Salmo River, while firefighters from across the district have arrived in Salmo to help with sandbagging in anticipation of flooding in that village.

Hundreds of other properties remain under evacuation alert, meaning residents must be ready to flee on short notice.

Burgess Pierre and Malissa Smith of Katzie First Nation pile sandbags on Barnston Island in Surrey.

Todd Manuck measures the depth of water on the street in front of his house as water from Osoyoos Lake floods the street and properties, in Osoyoos, B.C., on Saturday May 12, 2018.

Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday that the province will match up to $20 million in donations made to the Canadian Red Cross to help those affected by the floods.

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