Canadian Underwriter

B.C. homes on flood evacuation alert as dam weakens, water levels rise

April 17, 2018   by The Canadian Press

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OLIVER, B.C. – Flooding across the British Columbia Interior has washed out roads and put homes on evacuation alert.

The Ministry of Transportation says Highway 33 from the Mission Creek Bridge to Kelowna is closed in both directions due to a washout.

Highway 3A north of Keremeos has also been closed in both directions due to a mudslide, and the ministry says it will take until the afternoon to open at least one lane of traffic.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says 148 properties north of Oliver are on alert as a dam and culvert are in danger of releasing.

The alert means residents should be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation order is issued, and they should have essential items such as medications, keepsakes and documents readily available and a plan for where they can alternatively stay.

A local state of emergency was first issued at the end of March as dams in the region reached capacity due to spring rains and snowmelt.

The state of emergency has since expanded and more properties around Green Lake are now under evacuation alert because of increased flooding.

The district says rainfall last weekend was causing overflows at Green Lake and the province had launched work on Crown land to mitigate the flooding while engineers began pumping the lake to manage water levels.