Flood watch: Waterways in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary could breach
As of Sunday morning, a large portion of B.C.’s Southern Interior was under a flood watch which means rivers in the area are rising and could breach their banks.
The flood watch notices extend to the Okanagan and Boundary regions as well as the Salmon River near Salmon Arm and the Similkameen River and its tributaries, among other areas.
Recent hot weather has sped up snow melt and some intense rainfall on Saturday has also helped swell waterways, according to B.C.’s River Forecast Centre.
Forecasters are predicting more rain on Sunday.
Boundary bracing for flooding
In the Boundary region where 2,300 people are in evacuation alert, officials are bracing for flooding with flood protection infrastructure in place.
However, as of Sunday morning, the flooding is not expected to be as bad as officials had feared as the area got less rain than expected Saturday.
As a result of Saturday’s rain, the Kettle River is expected to peak on Monday afternoon.
Reached on Sunday morning, a spokesperson for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s emergency operations centre expected some properties may need to be evacuated Sunday due to riverbank instability caused by the rising water.
The regional district is also anticipating flooding will force some from their homes on Monday.
How the situation plays out will depend on the weather on Sunday as more rain is in the forecast.
Environment Canada is predicting 10 to 20 mm of rain for the Grand Forks area on Sunday.
Central Okanagan watching Mission Creek
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre said it has no reports of overnight flooding.
While flows are high in Kelowna’s Mill Creek, which already burst its banks earlier this month, the regional emergency operations centre does not expect further flooding from that waterway.
The snow melt that feeds Mill Creek has already finished for the year, according to the emergency operations centre.
Meanwhile, crews in the Central Okanagan continue to monitor Mission Creek in Kelowna as there are concerns that a sudden snow melt combined with rainfall could cause flooding area of that waterway.
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