Potential loss of road access, flooding prompts evacuation alert near Grand Forks, B.C.

Officials in the Kootenay-Boundary region have issued an evacuation alert for seven properties near Grand Forks, B.C., due to the threat of flooding.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s emergency operations centre (EOC) says the impacted homes are in the Edwards/Gilpin neighbourhood in the low-lying area of Manly Meadows.

“The alert was issued to seven addresses in Edwards/Gilpin neighbourhood at midday today and affects about 18 people,” the EOC said in a media release issued on Monday.

“Rainfall on May 17 and more rain forecast for the week of May 18 could cause flooding of low-lying areas and some properties could lose road access.”

Water levels are not expected to exceed those experienced in 2017, the regional district said.

Residents are requested to be prepared to leave the area on very short notice if the alert is upgraded to an evacuation order.

The high streamflow advisory issued by BC River Forecast Centre on May 6 still remains in effect, including the Kettle River, West Kettle River, Granby River and tributaries.

Sandbags and sand are currently available for residents free of charge in Beaverdell behind the fire hall, Westbridge hall, the Riverside Centre in Rock Creek and the Grand Forks arena.

Residents must bring their own tools and equipment and respect a physical distance of two metres between workers as they fill sandbags, the release said.

Meanwhile, the City of Grand Forks is asking people to stay away from the 2nd Street bridge as crews work to remove a log jam.

“Please refrain from visiting the site to ‘take a look’ as it could negatively impact emergency vehicle access and a fast response,” the city said in a Facebook post.

Grand Forks residents and businesses are still recovering from the historic 2018 flood event that engulfed the small city, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

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