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Central Kootenay region in B.C. issues evacuation alert for community of Six Mile

Residents not required to leave yet, but asked to be ready to go
British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. The River Forecast Centre has upgraded it ranking of the the East Kootenay region to flood watch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Emergency Operations Centre has issued an evacuation alert for the community of Six Mile.

It says residents aren’t yet required to evacuate but is advising people to be prepared to leave the area if an evacuation order is enforced.

This comes after the River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for West Kootenay and the Upper Columbia region, including the Kicking Horse River, Illecillewaet River and tributaries around Invermere, Radium, Golden and Revelstoke.

British Columbia’s River Forecast Centre also upgraded its ranking of the East Kootenay region to flood watch, a classification indicating river levels may breach their banks and flooding could occur.

The centre says wet weather is expected and current hydrologic modelling indicates risks for flooding Monday and Tuesday, particularly in the East Kootenay region.

Environment Canada has also issued a Special Weather Statement covering the same time period for the Elk Valley and East Kootenay, which is expected to experience the heaviest rainfall at about 30-45 millimetres.

Another high streamflow advisory was issued for the South Thompson River and tributaries including the Seymour River, Eagle River, Adams River and Shuswap River.

The advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise, and while no major flooding is expected, minor flooding is possible.

The centre is also maintaining advisories and warnings it issued in other areas of the province.

In response to the flood watch the centre issued Saturday for the North Thompson River, including tributaries around Barriere and Clearwater, the District of Clearwater activated its Emergency Operations Centre to Level 1.

“This is a precautionary measure that allows us to actively monitor dike levels and to begin select protection operations if the need arises,” Clearwater Mayor Merlin Blackwell said in a Sunday-morning tweet announcing the move.

The biggest area of concern remains the Liard River in northeastern B.C., which includes tributaries around Fort Nelson and Highway 97 toward Watson Lake, which is still being classified as a flood warning.

Flood warnings, the most serious in a three-tiered alert system used by the forecast centre, mean flooding is expected.

The Canadian Press

READ ALSO: East Kootenay under flood watch, high flows forecasted in West Kootenay

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