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Cleanup begins after storm brings flash floods to Cache Creek

Emergency crews on the scene of the flash flood in Cache Creek, Saturday, May 23, 2015.
Image Credit: Devon Lindsay
May 24, 2015 - 10:24 AM

CACHE CREEK - The job of cleaning up following the violent storm which ripped through Cache Creek late Saturday afternoon is underway in the small community.

The severe thunderstorm brought heavy rainfall, gusting winds and hail, May 23, and caused flash flooding to the community about 80 kilometres west of Kamloops.

Highway 1 and Highway 97C were closed in both directions due to the flooding, but reopened later that evening.

Kamloops Search and Rescue volunteers arrived in Cache Creek following reports a vehicle and two mobile home trailers washed into the Bonaparte River.

Search manager Alan Hobler believed the occupants of the vehicle were able to escape. He said a search of the debris was conducted with the help of rescue dog Juno and a RCMP helicopter also searched the creek. 

The Kamloops group was called because it has a swift water rescue team. Volunteers from the South Cariboo Search and Rescue team were also involved in the response.

Debris left behind at a gas station in Cache Creek after the water from the flash flood receded, Saturday, May 24, 2015.
Debris left behind at a gas station in Cache Creek after the water from the flash flood receded, Saturday, May 24, 2015.
Image Credit: South Cariboo Search and Rescue

Shauna Bolton, who lives in Cache Creek, said she'd never seen such an extreme storm hit the community, though it only lasted about 30 minutes. She added police had blocked off a number of washed-out roads and debris was preventing driver from getting around the town.

The fire hall in the community wasn't spared, with flood waters damaging the building's bay door and leaving a mess of mud and debris behind.

Merritt was also hit hard by a passing storm which resident Shalyn Byrne said brought hail, high winds, and torrential rain.

"It was to the point where people were pulling over on the side of the road," Byrne said, adding that water was running like a river down the street.

Meanwhile, Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Okanagan, Shuwsap, Nicola, South and North Thompson, Arrow Lakes-Slocan and Boundary regions Sunday with forecasters saying the conditions are right for more severe weather in the B.C. Interior.

An unidentified search and rescue volunteer shows the high water mark on a tree in Cache Creek following a flash flood, Saturday, May 24, 2015.
An unidentified search and rescue volunteer shows the high water mark on a tree in Cache Creek following a flash flood, Saturday, May 24, 2015.
Image Credit: Kamloops Search and Rescue/Mike Ritcey

Flash flood damage outside Cache Creek fire hall, Saturday, May 23, 2015.
Flash flood damage outside Cache Creek fire hall, Saturday, May 23, 2015.
Image Credit: Devon Lindsay

Image Credit: South Cariboo Search and Rescue

Image Credit: South Cariboo Search and Rescue

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— With files from The Canadian Press

— This story was updated at 12:51 p.m., Sunday, May 24, 2015 to add more photos.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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