Flood evacuation orders lifted for nearly 600 properties in Boundary region

Click to play video 'BC Flood: Canadian Forces assist sandbagging efforts in Grand Forks' BC Flood: Canadian Forces assist sandbagging efforts in Grand Forks
WATCH: BC Flood: Canadian Forces assist sandbagging efforts in Grand Forks – May 18, 2018

Good news for residents of the Boundary region: with flood waters receding, officials have lifted evacuation orders for nearly 600 properties.

About 175 of those homes were announced for the Grand Forks area mid-day Sunday, and an additional 415 were added near Christina Lake on Sunday evening.

WATCH: Fraser flood advisory

Click to play video 'Fraser river flood advisory' Fraser river flood advisory
Fraser river flood advisory – May 20, 2018

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) spokesperson Frances Maika said damage assessment crews are working as quickly as possible.

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“It’s incredibly stressful to be out of your home, and that’s why our goal is to try to get — in the next I would say 36 to 48 hours, by the end of the day May 21 –the majority of people who are now on evacuation order, where it is safe to do so, back to their homes,” she said.

READ MORE: B.C. flooding news Friday: military rolls into Grand Forks

As of Sunday morning, about 2,825 properties remain evacuated.

Maika said lower overnight temperatures and drier-than-forecast weather have contributed to dropping river levels, and the region appears to have seen the peak of the flooding.

“We could see another kind of uptick in levels at the end of the week with warmer weather,” Maika added.

“If we did get a very severe rain event somewhere in the order of 30 to 40 millimetres or more, we would see impacts again, but we don’t expect they would reach the levels we have seen because the snow levels high up — the snow is melting.”

READ MORE: B.C.’s flood forecast is looking better, but we’re still not out of the woods

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Residents returning home will remain on evacuation alert, and are being asked to leave sandbags in place out of an abundance of caution.

Maika added that there will be some residents who won’t be able to return home because the damage to their properties is too severe.

She said she was unable to provide an estimate on the number of uninhabitable properties as damage assessments are still underway.

READ MORE: Township of Langley preps for road closures as Fraser River creeps higher

“There are a number of homes where that is the case,” she said. “Some of them are obvious, some of them are less obvious. There’s going to be frustration. And there’s a long road of recovery for everybody here, but we have had people impacted severely by this catastrophic flood.”

Maika said Canadian Forces troops in the area who have been assisting with the flood are packing up Sunday to re-deploy to areas where they are needed.

She said residents in the area who are returning home and get their drinking water from their own wells are invited to contact the RDKB about getting water testing kits.