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Frightening wakeup call for Christina Lake, B.C., residents as flood strikes

Residents of three homes on Fife Road near Christina Lake awoke in the middle of the night to water and debris inundating their properties from a nearby creek that had breached its banks. RDKB/Submitted

Residents on Fife Road near Christina Lake in the West Kootenay region of B.C. awoke Monday to a frightening scene as water and debris inundated their properties.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) issued evacuation orders for three homes after a nearby creek breached its banks.

Read more: More evacuation alerts issued for Grand Forks, B.C. area

Regional district officials say debris blocked the creek at higher elevations and with rainfall and the buildup of water, the blockage gave way early Monday morning.

Local residents awoke to water and debris flowing against and around their homes and called 911.

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Christina Lake Fire and Rescue responded and contacted RDKB emergency response staff.

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“We’re thankful no one was hurt and we’re working closely with staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development today to investigate the specific cause of the flood. Creek levels have dropped and rain has let up so we can now take a closer look at what happened and why,” said Mark Stephens, EOC director for the RDKB.

Read more: Grand Forks to rent out previously-flooded homes acquired under the buyout program

Stephens said engineers are in the very early stages of a site investigation. The creek shows evidence of past beaver activity and instream works.

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The Canadian Red Cross is helping residents find temporary accommodation in Christina Lake while the flood investigation takes place.

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The RDKB Emergency Operations Centre said it is activated to Level 1 and is prepared for any ongoing emergency response that may be required.

Read more: Grand Forks flood victims launch proposed lawsuit against province, timber companies

“The RDKB warns everyone to stay away from the edges of watercourses during the annual freshet and asks residents to report erosion and flooding to the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456,” regional district officials said in a news release.

For more information about snow and river levels and how to prepare for the 2021 freshet, and to register for the RDKB Emergency Alerting System visit the RDKB’s EOC site.

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