Jesse McCullough and Cass Hall fill sandbags at the Grand Forks arena on May 28, 2020.                                (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Jesse McCullough and Cass Hall fill sandbags at the Grand Forks arena on May 28, 2020. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary declared a State of Local Emergency on May 29, anticipating possible flooding events across the Boundary region.

Temperatures across the Boundary are projected to be more than 10 degrees above average this weekend, and erratic thunderstorms could dump between 15 and 30 millimetres of rain across the Kettle River watershed. Together, the hot air and rainfall will accelerate snowmelt and possibly cause the river system to swell beyond its banks.

Considering the forecast, the BC River Forecast Centre issued a Flood Watch advisory for the Boundary region Thursday.

River flow forecast graphs for the region have dipped and climbed over the past week, as the weekend weather approaches. As of May 29, the west end of the Kettle River system near Westbridge is predicted to peak above 2018 levels, when low-lying properties in that region were damaged in a one in 100-year flood event.

As the Kettle flows east towards Grand Forks, however, a forecast graph from Ferry, Wash., indicates that the river will climb just slightly higher than it did last week. The Granby River, which flows into the Kettle at Grand Forks, is also projected to exceed 2018 levels, which could coincide with the Kettle’s peak as well.

The Kettle River has been running near its bank-full capacity for over a month, and at its latest crest on May 19 overran a damaged berm and flooded into the Grand Forks neighbourhood of Johnson Flats, affecting two structures and prompting an evacuation order to six properties in the area.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) said Thursday that members of its flood response team have since looked at the berm, which was damaged in the 2018 flood, but currently have no plan to reinforce it before the next crest.

“We have already initiated operational preparations by bringing in Tiger Dam and flood response experts to our team and will start to place equipment to protect core communities and major infrastructure if more accurate flood predictions before the weekend show that needs to happen,” said Mark Stephens, RDKB emergency operations manager.

Sandbags are available to residents across the region, in Beaverdell, Westbridge, Rock Creek and Grand Forks.

Residents can follow regional district updates at emergency.rdkb.com.

“Anyone at risk of flooding should stay informed about local freshet conditions, and ensure they have considered plans for moving valuable items, livestock or other items to safe locations if required,” the RDKB said in a release Thursday.

Read more: Two more Johnson Flats properties given evacuation alerts

Read more: Six homes ordered to evacuate early Tuesday morning in Grand Forks due to flooding


@jensenedw
Jensen.edwards@grandforksgazette.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

flood watch

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Caleb Wykes, Jade Daniel and Alicia Dennis celebrate Australia Day at the Fernie Hotel and Pub. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Fernie Hotel celebrates the land down under

Sausages sizzled and Vegemite was spread as The Fernie Hotel celebrated Australia Day on Jan. 26.

Teck today announced the development of a new centralized office building in Sparwood, B.C. File photo
What’s in a brand? Sparwood logo turns 10

The five-point star and branding has adorned the district’s properties since 2011

A Half-moon hairstreak butterfly. (Image courtesy of Calgary Zoo)
Parks Canada, Calgary Zoo work to conserve butterflies in Waterton Lakes

Parks Canada will contribute $289,000 over three years for the project

Freshies barista, Craig Stoner at the new cafe location. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Freshies settles into new space

The new locatiom on 2nd Ave gives the popular cafe more space

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

(Pixabay)
B.C. teacher gets 1 day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Most Read