Friday evening, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Emergency Operations Centre issued an evacuation alert for 1137 properties across the Boundary, impacting an estimated 2,300 residents.
The RDKB said due to the forecasted hot weather and heavy rainfall, a Boundary wide Evacuation Alert has been issued for properties within the 200 year floodplain and properties with potential for bank erosion.
The area under Evacuation Alert extends from Carmi on the West Kettle River to Christina Lake.
The RDKB said at this time residents are not required to evacuate, however, residents are encouraged to find accommodation with friends or family in a safe place before rivers rise, which is expected to take place between Sunday, May 31 and Tuesday, June 2.
Residents who choose to remain at home should be ready to leave the area with very short notice.
This alert may be followed by an immediate order to evacuate should conditions worsen.
Residents on evacuation alert should prepare including getting grab-and-go bags ready (which should include several days of clothing, toiletries and medications), reviewing their emergency plan, gathering copies of important documents and mementos, and arranging for alternate accommodation.
Earlier on May 29, the RDKB Chair and mayors of Grand Forks, Greenwood and Midway declared a states of local emergency that are now in place for the entire Boundary region including the electoral areas C/Christina Lake, D/Rural Grand Forks and E/West Boundary as well as the municipalities of Grand Forks, Greenwood and Midway.
On May 28, the BC River Forecast Centre issued a Flood Watch for the Boundary Region including the Kettle River, West Kettle River, Granby River and tributaries. This means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bank-full. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.
Environment Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement that forecasts strong thunderstorms with frequent lightning and very strong wind gusts Saturday and Sunday. Heavy rain may accompany these storms and widespread rainfall will accompany the low-pressure system Saturday night and Sunday which may strain local rivers.
Crews to install flood protection works in Grand Forks area
Due to potential widespread flooding, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the City of Grand Forks are working together with flood protection experts to install temporary flood protection works in the City of Grand Forks and Area D / Rural Grand Forks beginning on May 30.
Crews will install flood protection equipment including Tiger Dams™ (large, tubular bladders ready to be filled with water)
Flood protection works will be installed in these locations, and are subject to change as conditions develop on May 30 and 31:
1. Downtown Riverside Drive and 72nd Ave.
2. 68th from industrial bridge to Interfor
3. Granby road
5. South Ruckle
6. East Side businesses
7. 19th Street
8. Beatrice Street
To register for the RDKB Emergency Alerting System go to https://ca.voyent-alert.com/vras/user-registration.html.
For more information about how to prepare for the 2020 freshet, visit emergency.rdkb.com/Be-Prepared.
Sand, sandbags available for Boundary residents
Sandbags and sand are currently available for residents in the following locations free of charge:
- Beaverdell behind the Fire Hall
- Westbridge Hall
- Riverside Centre in Rock Creek
- Grand Forks Arena
Residents must bring their own tools and equipment (shovels, transportation) and respect a physical distance of two metres (six feet) between workers as they fill sandbags. Anyone at risk of flooding should stay informed about local freshet conditions, and ensure they have considered plans for moving valuable items, livestock or other items to safe locations if required.
The RDKB warns everyone to stay away from the edges of watercourses and report any erosion or flooding to the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456.
The RDKB will continue to update the public as new information is available.
A map of the areas now on evacuation alert, as well as a list of properties is attached.