Canada – 2 Missing, 300 Evacuated After Floods and Mudslides in British Colombia

Two men are missing, presumed dead in the aftermath of severe flooding and mudslides caused by rainfall and snowmelt after warmer temperatures in southern British Columbia, Canada.

On 05 May a fire chief was swept away by a swollen waterway in Cache Creek near Kamloops. On 08 May Royal Canadian Mounted Police said there was no sign of the missing man and that the search is continuing as a recovery effort.

A mudslide near Salmon Arm completely buried the home of an elderly man. Emergency teams are still carrying out search operations.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) said on 06 May “that there is localized flooding from the Kettle River, the Granby River and Boundary Creek in the Boundary Region in southern British Columbia.”

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate emergency response activities.

Kettle River near Grand Forks, 07 May. Credit: RDKB Emergency Info

Local states of emergency were declared in Kelowna, West Kelowna, the Fintry Delta and Lumby. Evacuation orders were issued for around 100 homes in Kelowna and 90 homes in Fintry. The Regional District of Central Okanagan estimates that 300 people have evacuated their homes.

Rivers and Rainfall

The British Colombia River Forecast Centre said on 06 May that “snowmelt and thunderstorms over the past several days has led to significant streamflow across the region.

“Rainfall totals over the past 36 hours have been in the 5-40 mm range through the region, with periods of high intensity rain observed. Radar monitoring indicates overnight and early morning rainfall, particularly through the Okanagan Valley through to the Shuswap Region, the Boundary, and into the Kootenays. To the west of the region, thundershowers eased yesterday in the areas around Princeton north to Merritt and Cache Creek.”

A Flood Watch remains in place for the Kettle River, Shuswap Region including tributary streams, Mission Creek and Salmon River.

The flooding in the west of the country comes at the same time that eastern areas of Canada, in particular Quebec, have also been inundated.

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Featured photo; Kettle River near Grand Forks, 07 May. Credit: RDKB Emergency Info.

Flood Summary

Last updated: May 8, 2017
Event
British Colombia, Canada, May 2017
Date
May 5 to May 8, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Snow melt

Locations

A - Grand Forks
B - Kelowna
C - West Kelowna
D - Lumby
E - Salmon Arm
F - Cache Creek

Magnitude

River discharge
218 cubic metres per second
West Kettle River at Westbridge - May 6 to May 6, 2017
River discharge
320 cubic metres per second
Granby River near Grand Forks - May 6 to May 6, 2017
5-year flow
River discharge
45 cubic metres per second
Salmon River at Falkland - May 6 to May 6, 2017
20-year flow
River discharge
45 cubic metres per second
Salmon River near Salmon Arm - May 6 to May 6, 2017
5-year flow
River discharge
325 cubic metres per second
Nicola River near Spences Bridge - May 6 to May 6, 2017
20-year flow

Damages

Evacuated
300 people
Central Okanagan - May 5 to May 8, 2017
Fatalities
2 people
May 5 to May 8, 2017