Canada – Evacuations After Rivers Rise in British Columbia, 1 Fatality Reported

Evacuation orders were issued on 03 June 2021 for residents of Kitimat-Stikine district in northwestern British Columbia, Canada, due to rising water levels of the Skeena River.

The district said “Due to the above normal snow levels and precipitation, the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine is alerting citizens to the potential for serious widespread flooding.” A local state of emergency has been declared.

Initially evacuation orders were for communities in Old Remo and New Remo, situated along the banks of the Skeena River. Later district authorities widen the orders to include areas of Dutch Valley.

Local media, quoting Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said that the body of a man was found in a flooded basement of a house in New Remo, inside the evacuation zone, and that the death was “likely” related to the high river.

Flood Watches are in place for the Skeena River Above Babine River and the rest of Skeena River excluding Bulkley River, according to British Columbia’s River Forecast Centre. Further heavy rain was expected.

Meanwhile Evacuation Alerts were issued for other areas of the province. In East Kootenay District, communities in Fairmont Hot Springs due to the rising of Cold Spring Creek and Fairmont Creek. Evacuation Alerts were also issued for Hoodoo Mountain Resort due to the rising Dutch Creek.

In Fraser-Fort George District, the City of Prince George issued an evacuation alert due to a high risk of flooding from the Fraser River. As a precaution, Mayor Lyn Hall has signed a Declaration of Local Emergency.

The BC River Forecast Centre is predicting the river level at South Fort George could reach between 9.6 to 9.8 metres this weekend 05 to 06 June 2021. Home basements in areas close to the river may start to experience flooding when the levels exceed about 9.0 metres.

Featured photo: for illustration only. The Skeen River in British Columbia, Canada, by Sam Beebe, Ecotrust / Flickr, shared under CC BY 2.0