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

Fraser Valley Express doubles weekend and holiday bus service

Four new round trips to be added, starting Sept. 4

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

LETTER: Medical care in Langley and beyond deplorable

The shortage of family doctors shouldn’t exist. Who’s really to blame?

Langley netminder makes ‘unbelievable’ saves in draw against Seattle

Trinity Western University women’s soccer team battled to a 0-0 draw to Seattle, while boys fell 2-0.

VIDEO: Lower Mainland air quality to hit ‘extreme risk’

Smoke is pouring in from the interior B.C. and wildfires down in the U.S.

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Police ID Surrey man killed in fight at McDonald’s

Investigators ask anyone who knew Lakhwinder Singh Bal to speak with police, to help determine timeline ahead of ‘homicide’

Despite threats, Soldiers of Odin a no show at B.C. tent city

Nanaimo’s Discontent City held a counter rally on Sunday

5 to start your day

A man killed in Surrey, smoke continues to hang over the Lower Mainland and more

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in 2019

PM Justin Trudeau gears up to run in next year’s election

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Most Read