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Waters rising in flood ravaged southern B.C. as residents brace for 'round two'

Waters rising in flood ravaged southern B.C. as residents brace for 'round two'

GRAND FORKS, B.C. – Officials in southern British Columbia say another surge of water is due to reach an already flood-damaged community near Grand Forks as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Kevin McKinnon with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary says water levels are now rising in the Ruckle neighbourhood along the Granby River, just north of the Canada-U.S. border.

McKinnon says the high water levels are “the start of round two” as unseasonable heat rapidly melts snowpacks, but this time the water isn’t expected to recede overnight as it did in the first flood.

Heavy rains combined with spring runoff to push floodwaters to levels not seen in 70 years in and around Grand Forks last week.

At least 1,500 homes in the district remain evacuated following that flooding and provincial officials say evacuation orders cover another 500 homes around the province, while more than 2,600 homes are on evacuation alert.

Emergency Management BC says the Boundary region and Similkameen Valley have already seen significant flooding, while risks are also high across the Okanagan and Shuswap regions.

McKinnon says the rapid snowmelt is pushing up river levels and now there’s a forecast of rain for the region by Wednesday.

“That’s not a great combination,” he says, adding crews and residents in Grand Forks are rushing to prepare.

“The efforts today, all of the construction crews and maintenance crews will be hard at it, trying to get as much done before things happen, likely on Thursday” McKinnon says.


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