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Evacuation alerts and orders around the province due to flooding

FLOODRainfall warnings have officially ended across the province, but some communities in southeastern B.C. are still keeping a close eye on rivers and streams as they are running very high and fast.

The west and east Kootenay region has been upgraded to a flood watch and high stream flow advisories are in effect in other regions in the southern Interior.

Some roads around the province are still closed in areas due to mudslides and washouts.

An Evacuation Order has been issued by the Regional District of East Kootenay due to flooding and the potential danger to life and health in the Hosmer area.

RCMP and Search and Rescue are currently conducting an evacuation of a trailer park and surrounding residents in Hosmer. The evacuation zone is located on either side of the highway on the west side of the bridge. The evacuation has been ordered due to the high water levels that have breached part of the dike and are now flowing through properties.

A State of Local Emergency has been declared in The City of Fernie as a result of over 30 mm of rainfall in the previous 24 hours causing a rise in the level of the Elk River. Highway 3 is now clear between Sparwood and the Crowsnest Pass.

In Kelowna, high water levels have closed Lakeshore Drive between Cook Road and Lexington Avenue.

The community of Elkford issued a state of emergency at 8:50 p.m. Thursday night. 130 mm of rain fell in the previous 24 hours, causing a rise in the level of the Elk River and Boivin Creek. The Elk River has crested over the dike south of the Elk River Bridge on the Fording River Highway and is flooding along the east side of Highway 43.

The Elk River Forest Service Road north of Elkford has also been washed out.

Continued monitoring of the bridges along the Elk River and Boivin Creek will continue overnight.

Elkford residents are being asked to stay away from rivers, creeks and bridges until deemed safe.

An evacuation order is in place for residents living on the Elk River Forest Service Road within District Boundary, Elkford Campground, Water and Streets, East of Highway 43 from the Elkford Campground to the south boundary of the District of Elkford.

According to Garity Stanley, director, leisure services in Elkford, one family has been evacuated and another family of two will be evacuated by helicopter if the conditions deteriorate.

Stanley say many businesses near the Fording River are almost entirely under water, and all of the businesses have been shut down.

According to Environment Canada officials, there is another 40- 60 mm of rain expected in the area over the next 24 hours, but a warning has not been issued at this time.
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An evacuation order has been expanded in Hosmer, north of Fernie.

In the area known as Lower Hosmer, 33 homes have been evacuated and the nearby waters are still rising.

There are still evacuation alerts in place for Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie.

A state of local emergency has also been declared in Dutch Creek.

Five homes and a large campground have been evacuated because the creek flows right through the area.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has set up an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and wants residents to exercise extreme caution around any creeks and water bodies as prolonged, heavy rainfall has made them dangerous. Personnel are on the ground and in the air gathering information as several days of heavy, continuous precipitation is impacting creeks and streams in the region.

Individuals are advised to stay well clear of all water bodies as the continued precipitation can easily saturate and undermine banks.

Gallery of rivers and flooding across the province.

The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a Flood Warning for Elk River and is maintaining the following High Stream Flow Advisories for the Interior region:

    Elk River (at Fernie) – Flood Warning (UPGRADED)
    Upper Columbia (Kicking Horse River)  – High Streamflow Advisory (MAINTAINED)
    West and East Kootenay- High Streamflow Advisory (DOWNGRADED)
    Upper Columbia (small tributary rivers) – High Streamflow Advisory (DOWNGRADED)
    Lower Columbia (small tributary rivers) – High Streamflow Advisory (DOWNGRADED)
    Okanagan (including Mission Creek) – ENDED
    Boundary (including Kettle River and Granby River) – ENDED
    Thompson Region (including the North Thompson, Salmon River, Shuswap River, Eagle River and surrounding areas) – ENDED

The Elk River has continued to rise from heavy rain over the past two days.

Current river level at the Elk River at Fernie Water Survey Gauge (WSC 08NK002) is at 4.53m, and rising at up to 10 cm/hour.

The Elk River is expected to peak by mid-day or early afternoon today, with an additional 20-40 cm of rise possible.

Current river level is approximately 20 cm above the flood of record (1995) at the Water Survey gauge.

On the Kicking Horse River, the majority of the rain from Wednesday has now passed, however rainfall over the past day (approximately 10-20mm) is still working its way down the river, and additional rises are possible through Friday.

Elsewhere, river levels have peaked, and are beginning to recede now that rainfall rates have eased. River levels remain high in the Columbia, West Kootenay and East Kootenay.

With drier weather into the weekend, river conditions are expected to continue to improve.

We will continue to update this post with more information.

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