The potential for flooding has prompted several evacuation alerts and orders and at least one home has been inundated by water as rivers and creeks swell over their banks in British Columbia’s Thompson and Okanagan regions.
The village of Cache Creek about 80 kilometres east of Kamloops is maintaining a state of local emergency, and five properties are under evacuation order due to the risk of flooding in both the Bonaparte River and Cache Creek.
At least one property that had been under evacuation order has been inundated by water, and Mayor John Ranta says he hopes that will be the extent of the major damage.
A statement posted by the village on social media says water levels are expected to rise over the coming days, with warm weather and rain in the forecast.
The B.C. government says flooding has also closed both directions of Highway 1 and Highway 97 where the routes intersect in Cache Creek, but detours are available.
To the east, the Okanagan Indian Band has issued an evacuation order for several properties in the neighbourhood of Parker’s Cove on the shores of Okanagan Lake, saying flooding in Whiteman Creek poses immediate danger to public safety.
An evacuation alert has since been added for several more properties in the area, where B.C.’s River Forecast Centre says flows are likely to exceed the 10- to 20-year return period.
The centre has placed the neighbouring Thompson region under a flood warning, encompassing the communities of Merritt, Lytton and Cache Creek.
Lower-level flood watches are in effect for the Boundary and Kootenay regions and areas surrounding the Salmon River between Salmon Arm and Vernon.
A flood watch is also in effect for the middle Fraser River plateau, including areas around Quesnel and Williams Lake.
The forecast centre says melting snow has been increasing, especially in mid-elevation areas, and rain is expected to follow warm, sunny conditions by the end of this week.
In the north, high streamflow advisories are in effect for the Williston region as well as areas surrounding Prince George.
©2023 THE CANADIAN PRESS