The Town of Smithers is advising the community that the rain fall warning that Environment Canada issued on May 26 turned into heavy rains for the Bulkley Valley overnight.
Over the past 24 hours the Bulkley River has rose significantly and is currently rising at a rate of 2 centimetres an hour at Smithers, and is beginning to crest its banks in the Riverside Drive area in town.
The Rivers Forecast Centre of BC has upgraded the Bulkley River from a flood watch state to a flood warning level, the Town also noted in a media release.
Riverside Campground is closed and the riverside portions of the perimeter trail is as well until further notice due to the rising waters.
The ground is saturated with water and the town is warning people to avoid riverbank locations that may be prone to significant sloughing over the course of this flood event. Also people are reminded to say well away from riverbanks as the fast moving water can be extremely dangerous.
The town’s Emergency Operations Centre has been upgraded to a Level 2, in order to provide resources to respond to the flood warning.
An evacuation alert remains for the 2100 block of Riverside, 2700 block of Pacific Avenue (Fall Fair Grounds), 2100 block of Main Street, and the 4200 block of Rosenthal Road. The alerts are in place to allow residents time to preapre for an evacuation should the need arise.
“Residents should feel assured that the Town is closely monitoring the situation and have support agencies and emergency social assistance resources ready to deploy should evaction of homes be necessary,” said acting mayor Charlie Northrup.
Updates on flood information can be found on the radio and on the town’s website, smithers.ca, or by phone at 250-847-1600 during office hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Sand and sandbags are available from Smithers by calling the above number during office hours or otherwise call Emergency Management BC at 1-800-663-3456.