Falkland and Spallumcheen are the latest to urge cautiousn among resident as spring melt leads to flooding in the community.
The Township of Spallumcheen issued a press release Friday, May 5, as a low-pressure system is expected to move into B.C. today and last throughout the weekend. This brings with it potential for rainfall and cooling temperatures.
“With many creeks in the area rising due to snowmelt runoff the BC River Forecast Centre has many areas in and around Spallumcheen on High Streamflow Advisory or Flood Watch status,” the township said.
Environment Canada is predicting 15 to 30 millimetres of rain over the next five days with the possibility of localized thunder showers.
Residents are advised to use “extreme caution” around creeks and streams as water conditions can change quickly and fast-moving water may cause erosion and instability on bank edges.
Spallumcheen staff are continuing to monitor creeks and have noted the areas of Deep Creek that underwent stream remediation last year as part of the township’s natural asset renewal work are flowing well and not seeing overtopping of banks as they have in the past.
“We are excited by these results and look forward to the work proposed for this summer further north along Deep Creek and the positive impact this will have on the surrounding properties,” said Mayor Christine Fraser.
For those concerned about flooding on their property, a sandbag station is set up at the public works yard at 1511 Eagle Rock Rd. Bags and sand are provided, but residents need to bring their own shovel.
Meanwhile, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) is also advising residents now that flooding season has swiftly arrived. The Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) is advising residents of the increasing risk of flooding in Shuswap area creeks and rivers in the coming days.
The CSRD says the Salmon River is of particular concern. The BC River Forecast Centre has put the Salmon River, including areas around Falkland, Silver Creek and Salmon Arm, on flood watch status.
A flood watch status means river levels are rising and will appriach or possibly exceed the riverbanks. Flooding of areas adjacent to these rivers may occur.
The SEP is also working on preparations for possible flooding situations across the region, in light of the potential for heavy rainfall in the coming days.
Residents in flood-prone areas are advised to monitor the weather forecast and lake and river levels and begin flood preparation measures to protect their properties. This can involve sandbagging and moving valuable items to higher ground.
Sand and bags are available at two locations: the Silver Creek Fire Hall (1577 Salmon River Rd.) and the Falkland Fire Hall (2915 Gyp Rd.).
“With water levels rising, it is important to stay safe near fast-running water or flooded areas,” the CSRD said. “Please remember to stay well back from creek banks and use common sense around high water. Children and pets need to be closely monitored around these areas, so always keep them within arm’s reach.”
Residents with questions about flooding can call 250-248-2773 and speak with the SEP team.
Now is the time for residents to check their outdoor spaces and remove items near bodies of water that may be carried downstream and become blockages within creek culverts. Now is also the time to remove items from crawl spaces and basements that are prone to flooding.