VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Military troops are heading to BC to help those affected by record flooding.
“Troops are deploying to the affected areas and will provide assistance with evacuations, help protect key assets from flood damage, and bolster sandbagging efforts,” says federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale in a statement.
He says he has spoken with his provincial counterpart here, and “on behalf of the Government of Canada, I have accepted his formal request for federal assistance to help communities affected by flooding.”
Goodale says the feds are continuing to monitor and assess the situation as it evolves, and is working closely with the province on the details of this assistance.
Over the weekend, Premier John Horgan said BC could be facing a “one in 100 years” flood season in the southern part of the province.
Dozens of people have needed rescuing by boat in Grand Forks. Firefighters have had to swim through muddy and debirs-laden water to reach them.
A second surge is expected by tomorrow, with Environment Canada issuing special weather statements covering the entire southeastern corner of BC.
NEWS 1130 meteorologist Russ Lacate says in Grand Forks, this afternoon and evening — and again, tomorrow — dramatic cloud is expected over the ridges, which could lead to severe thunderstorms.
As much as 40 millimetres of rain could fall by tomorrow. There are concerns about added damage due to heavy downpours during localized thunderstorms.
“With potential downpour rates of 20 millimetres per hour or more, is the kind of heavy rainfall that could create a sudden surge in the rising streamflow levels of the already stressed Kettle Valley, the Similkameen and the Okanagan watersheds,” says Lacate.
The Regional District of Kooenay Boundary says homes along the banks of the Kettle River are at risk and more evacuation orders could come into effect soon.
Schools in the Boundary region are closed today due to the possibility of sudden, serious flooding.
The entire Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is under a local state of emergency.