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Flood watch: State of local emergency declared in B.C.’s Boundary region

Click to play video 'Thunderstorms, rain could bring severe flooding to Okanagan, Shuswap, Kootenay-Boundary regions' Thunderstorms, rain could bring severe flooding to Okanagan, Shuswap, Kootenay-Boundary regions

A state of emergency has been declared for the Boundary region in B.C.’s Southern Interior.

On Friday afternoon, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary announced the measure, stating higher rainfall forecasts and warm weather is pointing to probable widespread flooding.

The state of local emergency includes the local electoral areas, such as Christina Lake, plus the municipalities of Grand Forks, Greenwood and Midway.

READ MORE: B.C.’s Southern Interior prepares for possible weekend flooding

The announcement comes after Environment Canada issued a special weather warning on Thursday for weekend thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

“This means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bank-full,” said the regional district. “Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.”

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Also Thursday, the B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a flood watch warning for some parts of the Southern Interior.

For the Boundary region, the flood watch includes the Kettle River, West Kettle River, the Granby River and tributaries.

Click to play video 'Risk of rain, flooding heading into June for Okanagan forecast' Risk of rain, flooding heading into June for Okanagan forecast
Risk of rain, flooding heading into June for Okanagan forecast

“A high-pressure system is building, and temperatures are expected to rise into Saturday, with temperatures in valley bottom locations reaching up to the low-to-mid 30 degree C range,” said the B.C. River Forecast Centre warning.

“In areas with some mid-elevation snowpack remaining, rivers levels may see additional rises through the rest of the week; this includes the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby Rivers.

“In areas with higher elevation terrain, on-going rises in river levels are expected due to accelerated snowmelt. This includes the Slocan River, Salmo River, Moyie River and surrounding tributaries.”

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READ MORE: Sand, sandbags ready for high water this weekend, say Kelowna, West Kelowna

The regional district, which serves approximately 31,000 residents, covers around 8,200 square kilometres.

It says when a state of emergency is declared, “it provides the RDKB’s emergency operations centre greater flexibility to access resources and respond efficiently to the imminent threat of widespread flooding across the region.”

For more information about flood preparedness, click here.