Water rushing down Sportsmens Bowl Road near the junction with Highway 97 spills over stacks of sandbags, even as B.C. Wildfire Service crews work to bolster the area’s barriers. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

B.C. steps up flood response as interior braces for snow melt

Wildfire-ravaged communities brace for spring floods

The province is stepping up its flood prevention measures as it gets ready for the spring snowmelt.

Parts of the southern interior are already seeing heavy flooding as nearly 150 homes were evacuated in Tulameen this weekend.

The Cariboo region has also been hit and the Nazko Valley, about 100 kilometres west of Quesnel, has been evacuated.

In an update earlier this month, the province’s River Forecast Centre said that the provincial snowpack of nearly 130 per cent of average (calculated from a 60-year average) could lead to heavy flooding, particularly in the wildfire-ravage portions of the interior.

READ: Highways reopened, but Cache Creek braces for more flooding

Heavy melts in those regions could lead to riverbank erosion, as well as damage to dikes.

“Due to the fires, there’ll be a lot more debris in rivers going downstream … which can lead to erosion along banks and dykes,” hydrologist Jonathan Boyd told reporters last week.

READ: B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

The flood risk from a snowpack of above 135 per cent is classified as extreme, leading to concerns for the Okanagan where the snowpack sits at 152 per cent.

To help coordinate the flood response, the province has activated its Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre near Saanich and the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centres in Kamloops, Prince George and in Nelson to help out local governments.

So far, two million sandbags have been used to help protect homes and public buildings with the help of six sandbag machines and 140 BC Wildfire Service firefighters, who have been deployed throughout the province.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Chief explains TNG position on road blocks, moose hunt

Members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation are making good on their promise

CRD launches survey for those impacted by wildfires, floods

The Cariboo Regional District has opened a survey for residents and visitors.

BREAKING: Emergency crews on scene of collision at Wildwood

Traffic on Highway 97 north of Williams Lake near Wildwood has been stopped

Letter: 2020 reopening of West Fraser Road is unacceptable

Letter writer details many problems with the current detour route

SD27 prepares to celebrate Orange Shirt Day for the fifth year

Orange Shirt Day critical for all students, says SD 27 superintendent

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Dozens line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read