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Kitimat-Stikine, Terrace end emergency declarations and evacuations

The City of Terrace says it expects water levels to continue to fall following last week’s flooding
Flooding in Old Remo, just southwest of Terrace, on May 16. The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine rescinded its State of Local Emergency and Evacuation Orders and Alerts on May 23, as flood waters receded after a week of flooding. (Viktor Elias/Terrace Standard)

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and the City of Terrace have rescinded their States of Local Emergency and all flooding-related evacuation orders and alerts issued last week. The affected areas include Old Remo and New Remo.

Evacuation alerts have also been lifted for New Remo, Old Remo, Usk and Brauns Island, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.

The regional district’s Emergency Support Services (ESS) Reception Centre, housed at the Terrace Sportsplex, has also closed, though the ESS hotline will continue to field calls 24/7 at (250) 641-2443 for residents affected by the floods.

A mid-May heat wave accelerated the snowmelt in the mountains, causing the Skeena River to run run high and overflow its banks in some locations.

Residents previously under evacuation orders have been urged to return home as quickly as possible to secure their properties. Despite the lifted orders, security measures established during the emergency remained in effect in Old Remo and New Remo until the evening of May 23.

The regional district also encourages residents and businesses affected by flooding to contact local health authorities for information regarding water testing on well or private surface water systems. “Do not drink the water until it has been tested and is safe,” a release advised, urging affected parties to contact a Health Protection Officer at (250) 565-7322.

In addition, the regional district suggests visiting the provincial government’s website for further information on flooding impact and recovery, particularly regarding sewage systems.

For those grappling with flood cleanup, the Thornhill Transfer Station will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 30, waiving tipping fees for residents able to provide proof of address. Residents and businesses are also encouraged to return unused sandbags to the Thornhill Firehall.

The City of Terrace’s Emergency Operations Centre has been downgraded from a level two to a level one and the city’s evacuation alert has been rescinded.

City of Terrace Communications Advisor Tyler Clarke stated that “water levels on the Skeena River continue to fall and the CLEVER Model 10-Day Forecast is forecasting this trend to continue well into next week.”

The Skeena River at Usk reached levels unseen in more than a decade, with areas including New Remo and Old Remo experiencing flooding. The heat wave, which saw temperatures approach the 30ºC mark, broke a record set in 1925.

Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.

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