Forty BC Wildfire Service crew members were deployed to Grand Forks on May 30 to help install temporary flood protection infrastructure. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has now rescinded all evacuation orders for the Boundary region, meaning that more than 100 households can return home if they left amid high water concerns on June 1.

Real-time graphs for the West Kettle and Kettle Rivers at Westbridge, as well as the Granby River near Grand Forks, indicate that local rivers peaked on June 1, and have since slowed and receded significantly. However, weather forecasts still have the RDKB’s emergency operations centre active.

“The weather forecast today does include some rain for the weekend coming up and, because we can’t say exactly how much rain with any certainty today, flood protection works in the City of Grand Forks will remain in place as will our evacuation alert for low-lying areas,” said Mark Stephens, director of the regional district’s emergency management centre.

Orange Tiger dams have lined Grand Forks’ downtown since May 30, and an earth berm stretches for several blocks across the city’s industrial area on the south side of the Kettle River, initially blocking off a major access point to the Interfor mill. By Monday afternoon, the RDKB was allowing local traffic to move parallel to the berm, foreseeing lower river peaks than were initially projected at the beginning of the weekend.

The RDKB first issued 13 evacuation orders on May 31, as river level projections for the Grand Forks area surged in anticipation of warm weather and heavy rain. By June 1, 189 households in the region were under evacuation order.

Though water flow has slowed in local rivers and streams, evacuation alerts remain in effect for more than 1,100 properties in the Boundary as river projections forecast more – though lower – peaks coming between June 6 and June 8.

Read more: ‘Not technically feasible’: Grand Forks volunteers stack sandbags to fill in damaged dike

Read more: Boundary freshet 2020: At least 189 properties ordered to evacuate as of June 1


@jensenedw
Jensen.edwards@grandforksgazette.ca

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