March 14, 2018 1:08 pm
Updated: March 14, 2018 1:45 pm

Higher-than-usual snowpack prompts flood preparedness warning

Global News
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The B.C. government is urging residents to be flood-prepared.

The warning comes as this year’s snowpack is higher than normal.

The Okanagan was particularly hard hit last year and many residents are already gearing up for what could be another bad flooding season.

READ MORE: Twin Lakes residents prepare for potential flooding

Last year, spring flooding forced more than 2,500 British Columbians from their homes, and threatened thousands more with evacuation alerts.

By the time the floodwaters receded, Emergency Management B.C. had dispatched more than 4.4 million sandbags and deployed kilometres of temporary dyke structures to the Okanagan.

While a high snowpack does not necessarily lead to a particularly active flood year, it’s been a long, cold winter, and the River Forecast Centre is keeping a close watch on snow melt and water levels.

WATCH: Coverage of B.C. flooding on Globalnews.ca


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In a news release issued on Wednesday, the government said it is committed to improving the public safety of all British Columbians, adding it is investing heavily in flood prevention and protection.

In February, the provincial and federal governments announced funding for 30 projects, valued at approximately $12.1 million (including investments from local governments and NGOs), through the National Disaster Mitigation Program. The B.C. government contributed approximately $5 million. This amount is on top of the $60 million EMBC announced in March 2017, which is earmarked for flood mitigation projects in B.C. communities most at risk.

While mitigation work is underway, government officials said it’s vital British Columbians develop a household plan, put together an emergency kit and connect with neighbors.

Click here for more tips on an emergency response plan.

You can also prepare your home by caulking any leaks, waterproofing your basement, cleaning clogged drains and gutters, maintaining your sump pump and checking your sewer lines.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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