New evacuation order in B.C. as flooding affects central Interior

FILE PHOTO - Flood debris is seen on the road in Cache Creek, B.C., on May 6, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER - A flood warning has been issued for a river near Prince George, B.C., after it rose nearly 35 centimetres in a day.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre, which assesses water supply, flood risk and predicts flows in provincial waterways, upgraded the warning for the Chilako River early Friday.

It says the river and its tributaries southwest of Prince George are expected to continue to rise, possibly into the weekend.

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George issued evacuation orders late Thursday for 40 properties on part of Upper Mud River Road near the Chilako River, 30 kilometres southwest of Prince George.

Evacuees are being sheltered at two hotels in Prince George.

Two properties near Quesnel were ordered evacuated by the Cariboo Regional District Thursday when water-saturated ground and flooding caused a landslide, but no one was hurt.

Flood warnings remain posted by the forecast centre for the Nazko and West Road rivers, the Cariboo and Chilcotin regions and waterways around Williams Lake, Quesnel, Alexis Creek, Anahim Lake and Cache Creek.

In 150 Mile House, Cariboo officials were maintaining evacuation alerts posted earlier in the week for 29 homes on Boreland Creek.

The forecast centre's daily update says Boreland Creek was flowing at levels seen only every 50 to 100 years, but analysts also reported levels were holding steady.

The Village of Cache Creek remains under a local state of emergency, 10 properties are evacuated and a village spokeswoman says 15 more homes were added Friday to the dozens already on alert.

Close to 500 people around the village had been advised to be ready to leave on short notice.

Bonaparte River near Cache Creek was flowing at a rate that occurs only every 20 years, and the forecast centre said river levels are expected to climb through the weekend.

"While there are early signs that river levels may be approaching or at peak levels, showers and on-going snowmelt into the weekend should keep river levels high and may lead to additional rises," the centre said.

It advised the public to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and away from potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2020


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