People in B.C.’s Interior urged to prepare for flooding

WITH increased risk of flooding as well as forecast rain and snowmelt in many regions, people in B.C.’s Interior are urged to prepare for potential flooding through the weekend of May 5-7.

The Province continues to co-ordinate with communities and deploy flood assets and other resources.

Warm temperatures in the Interior have accelerated snowmelt and caused increased pressure on rivers and creeks. The situation is expected to worsen as rainfall and thundershowers are forecast for Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, which increases the likelihood of flooding.

People living in Cache Creek and Grand Forks, as well as the central Interior, Okanagan, Boundary, southern Kootenays and Similkameen regions and on Okanagan Indian Band territory, are asked to remain vigilant and have a household plan in place.

This includes putting together a grab-and-go bag that includes essentials, such as a first-aid kit, personal medication, food and water, and important documents, such as insurance papers and birth certificates. People are also encouraged to connect with neighbours, self-register for Emergency Support Services and stay connected with their local government or First Nation for updates and advisories.

As of 11:30 a.m. on Friday (May 5), flood warnings are in effect for:

* Boundary, including Kettle River, Granby River and surrounding rivers and streams;

* Whiteman Creek; and

* Lower Thompson, including Cache Creek, Deadman River, Criss Creek, Bonaparte River and areas around Cache Creek and Skeetchestn.

Flood watches are in effect for:

* Similkameen, Okanagan, Salmon River;

* Middle Fraser including plateau areas around Quesnel, Williams Lake, Lhoosk’uz Dene (including Baker Creek, Cottonwood River, San Jose River) and surrounding areas;

* West Kootenay;

* East Kootenay; and

* Nazko River and West Road River.

High streamflow advisories are in effect for:

* Coquihalla River;

* Nicola, Shuswap tributaries;

* Upper Fraser including plateau areas around Prince George (including Chilako River, Chuchinka River, Salmon River and surrounding areas);

* Skeena Region including the Bulkley River and surrounding tributaries; and

* Quesnel and Upper Fraser.

Environment Canada also issued heavy rain special weather statements for:

* Central Okanagan, including Kelowna;

* South Okanagan, including Penticton and Arrow Lakes;

* Slocan Lake;

* Boundary;

* West Kootenay; and

* Kootenay Lake.

The Province maintains a stockpile of sandbags, which are being deployed to local governments and First Nations, including Grand Forks, Cache Creek and Okanagan Indian Band. In 2023, the Province has deployed more than 200,000 sandbags to communities in B.C. Local governments and First Nations will have the most up-to-date information available about where people can pick up sandbags.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and its highway maintenance contractors are monitoring water levels for any impacts to the provincial highway network and are ready to respond. Preparations include staging equipment and materials at key locations, increasing patrols, evaluating infrastructure (such as culverts and temporary bridges) and reinforcing where needed.

When travelling during the freshet season (flooding caused by heavy rain or snowmelt), drivers are asked to be prepared for unexpected highway closures and to check road conditions online before heading out:

It is important to have a properly stocked emergency kit in case of a travel disruption. Kits should include items, such as food, water, blankets, extra clothing and shoes, a first-aid kit, and candles.

Depending on the severity of the situation, an evacuation alert or order may be issued. People must always follow the advice and direction of local authorities.


Learn More:

River Forecast Centre:

Emergency information:

PreparedBC Flood Preparedness Guide:

For tips about how to prepare grab-and-go bags, visit:

To self-register for Emergency Support Services, visit:

Floodwaters can quickly wash out roads and bridges. Be prepared and plan an alternative route. For the latest road conditions, visit: