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Flooding: Evacuation order issued for some low-lying properties in Cache Creek, B.C.

The swollen Bonapart River seen Sunday, July 5, 2020.
The swollen Bonapart River seen Sunday, July 5, 2020. Global News

The Village of Cache Creek, B.C. ordered the evacuation of about a dozen properties Sunday evening, amid concerns the Bonaparte River could break its banks.

The order followed an evacuation alert issued Saturday night affecting about 300 people.

Some Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood watch
Some Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood watch

The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a flood warning Saturday night, stating that the river was rising rapidly, with water moving at a 20-year flow rate.

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Melting snowpack combined with unseasonable rain last week are driving the rising water levels.

Fraser Valley on flood watch
Fraser Valley on flood watch

 

The village said Sunday that it was clearing the dozen low-lying properties along the river as a precaution, to avoid the need to evacuate the properties at night should conditions worsen.

About 160 properties remain under an evacuation alert.

Residents are also being advised to stay well back from the river banks.

Read more: Large swath of B.C. remains under flood warnings, advisories as rivers swell

“The river initially rose rapidly from the heavy rain on Wednesday and Thursday, reaching an initial peak of 59 m3/s on Thursday evening,” stated the River Forecast Centre.

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“The river began to recede on Friday, but as of Saturday morning has risen rapidly, likely due to the delayed response of flows in the headwaters. Nearby watersheds reached extremely high flows.”

The river last peaked on May 22, and the centre said it could meet or exceed those water levels Sunday.

Flood warnings and advisories in B.C. as of July 5, 2020.
Flood warnings and advisories in B.C. as of July 5, 2020. B.C. River Forecast Centre.

Flood risk remains a concern throughout much of central British Columbia.

The Upper Fraser and Quesnel rivers remain under flood warnings, and the City of Prince George has issued an evacuation alert for properties on Farrell Street near Paddlewheel Park.

Flood warnings are issued when “river levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result,” according to the forecast centre.

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The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George has ordered residents of a handful of homes near McBride to evacuate, and a small number of homes near Quesnel are also on evacuation alert.

Rising concern: heavy rains create high water levels, flood risk in BC
Rising concern: heavy rains create high water levels, flood risk in BC

Flood watches are in place for the entire Peace and northeast regions and the Middle Fraser River from Prince George to Boston Bar.

A flood watch the Thompson River and its tributaries was downgraded to a high streamflow advisory on Sunday. However, several hundred residents of Seymour Arm remained without water on Sunday due to a Thursday mudslide.

Read more: Trans-Canada Highway in B.C.’s Interior reopens following flooding closure

In the Lower Mainland, upper Fraser Valley communities are closely watching the river, which is expected to peak at some point Monday.

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A number of roadways and farmers’ fields between the river and dykes in Chilliwack have seen flooding.