The Cariboo Regional District declared a Local State of Emergency in Electoral Area J on Sunday due to flooding and erosion caused by rapidly rising waters in the Anahim and Nimpo lakes areas.
The CRD Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated at a Level 2 on Sunday, to support flood related operational responses occurring throughout the region.
B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for the central interior region in the Anahim and Nimpo Lake areas as well as for the Chilcotin River.
River levels in the region have been elevated over the last two weeks due to snow melt, between 15-25 mm per day, and rainfall. The RFC further reports both snow and soils in the area are saturated.
In Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake residents affected by high lake levels have been using sandbags to protect structures. Two lodges, one on each lake, and two homes on Anahim Lake have been impacted. The CRD had not issued an evacuation alert or order for that area, as of press time Monday.
Rick Hodgson, director of the CRD’s Emergency Operations Centre, says Monday morning the centre was also alerted to challenges faced by residents near the Chilcotin River.
“There are no homes at imminent risk that we are aware of but some of the ranchers are having to move some of their cattle and some of their livestock,” Hodgson says, adding two homes on the river are pumping water from their basements due to seepage. The river is not spilling its banks rather the high water table is becoming apparent in various low spots on the landscape. The EOC has requested that emergency management in Prince George send out a hydrologist to assess the situation on the Chilcotin River. Environment Canada and the River Forecast Centre have forecast warmer temperatures throughout the week as well as rain in the Nimpo and Anahim areas which may not improve the situation.
Hodgson says the best case scenario would be cool weather to promote a gradual snow melt and minor amounts of precipitation.
Because the situation is evolving the EOC is on standby if it needs to implement an evacuation alert.
“We’re not in a situation right now where we have to do that in the short term but that could change over night,” says Hodgson.
The RFC defines a high streamflow advisory as when river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly but no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
Residents who require sand or sandbags are asked to call the EOC public information line at 250-398-5117.