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Flood warnings downgraded in B.C.

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Local states of emergency remain in effect in Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie Sunday due to flooding in B.C.’s East Kootenay, but the flood warning for Elk River has been downgraded to a flood watch.

Emergency Info BC said in a statement that the BC River Forecast Centre has ended the high streamflow advisory for Upper Columbia and Lower Columbia, and West and East Kootenay.

Although water levels are stabilizing in the area, several communities are still under an evacuation order or alert.

Other residents have been allowed to return to their homes, but with more rain in the forecast there is concern the rivers could still rise again.

Some roads in the Kootenays remain impassable because of overflowing rivers. North of Cranbrook, the Kootenay River flooded out Highway 93 and 95 from Wasa to Fort Steele.

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Flood warnings have been cancelled for rivers in the Boundary and Thompson regions.

Although flood warnings have also been cancelled for Mission Creek in the Okanagan, homeowners are still dealing with flooded out roads and basements.

Lumby residents were particularly hard hit after the creeks in the area crested.

Officials are working with people in several Okanagan communities to address potential safety hazards caused by damaged gas and electrical equipment.

Residents are being warned to use caution as they clean up the damage.

In the Cariboo, hail and heavy rain are being blamed for flash flooding. The extreme weather hit suddenly and many residents were caught off guard. The torrential rain and thunderstorms have since eased off and no significant damage has been reported.

As conditions improve in B.C., the province is coming to the aid of Alberta.

Emergency Management BC is offering first responders and a mobile medical unity.

A temporary bridge is also being shipping out to an area between Banff and Canmore where a bridge was washed out along the Trans-Canada Highway.

The Greater Vancouver Zoo is also preparing in case any animals from the Calgary Zoo need shelter.

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