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Flood preparedness tips for B.C. residents

Flood preparedness tips for B.C. residents

While floodwaters in many areas of the Central and Southwest regions of the British Columbia are currently dropping, the Province is recommending that homeowners take proactive steps to prepare for inclement weather and possible flooding.

Given high water levels on B.C. lakes, streams and rivers in many areas of the province, residents are strongly encouraged to follow the advice of local emergency authorities and keep sandbags in place, have emergency kits on hand, and have an emergency plan for family and pets.

Environment Canada is predicting warm, sunny weather with a few showers developing Wednesday. On Thursday, there is a risk of severe thunderstorms, potentially resulting in 15 - 25 millimetres of rain.

Flooding is a common, naturally occurring event in B.C. Although it can happen at any time of year, the most severe floods typically occur in at this time of year in the spring during freshet. This seasonal flooding is usually caused by heavy rain and snowmelt.

Homes may be at risk when floodwater spreads to adjoining areas that are normally dry. Depending on the type and severity of flooding, it could take hours, weeks and potentially months for the water to recede and the clean-up to begin.

Recent flooding has cut off or compromised access to some recreation sites and trails in the Thompson-Okanagan, Nicola and East Kootenay regions. This includes travel on backcountry roads that may become unstable or more susceptible to washouts if the earth becomes waterlogged during heavy runoff periods. While travelling on backcountry roads, stay alert at all times and use extreme caution near rivers and streams.


Flood Preparedness

Floodwaters move fast, so develop a household plan, put together your emergency kit and connect with your neighbours. Learn about the emergency response plan for your area. Visit www.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc for more information and guides, or click on the Learn More section below.

If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.

To learn about protecting your home and property, download the PreparedBC Flood Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers guide:http://ow.ly/CL2g30bxlbJ