A home damaged by floodwaters is seen in an aerial view, near the Kettle River in Grand Forks, B.C., on Saturday May 12, 2018. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in British Columbia’s southern interior as officials warn of flooding due to extremely heavy snowpacks, sudden downpours and unseasonably warm temperatures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Unseasonable heat melts heavy snowpacks in B.C., making more floods likely

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in British Columbia's Southern Interior

  • May. 14, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Residents of several southern B.C. communities had a modest respite from rising floodwaters Sunday, but they are bracing for the next wave of flooding in what Premier John Horgan has already called a once-in-a-century event.

A news release issued late Sunday by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary says evacuation orders and alerts remain posted for more than 1,600 addresses, affecting more than 3,000 people in that district, alone.

The release says district staff are working diligently on re-entry plans for evacuated properties but flooding still poses an imminent danger to life and health.

There are concerns that a second gush of water could surge down area waterways as unseasonable heat quickly melts heavy snowpack.

Local states of emergency are posted in nearly two dozen communities across B.C., including in Osoyoos and Keremeos and other low-lying properties along the Similkameen River and Osoyoos Lake, about 400 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Related: Evacuation alerts expanded in Similkameen

Related: More flooding likely in Similkameen River and Osoyoos Lake

B.C.’s public safety minister toured flood-ravaged areas around Grand Forks on Sunday and he and Premier John Horgan say the province will support flood victims for the long-term, with Horgan saying further options for support will be reviewed today.

Related: Public safety minister visits Boundary flooding

Related: 5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

The Canadian Press

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