The waters of the Salmon River are on the rise, prompting a warning from B.C.’s River Forecast Centre.
Late afternoon on Tuesday, May 26, the centre upgraded the high streamflow advisory for the Salmon River to a flood watch.
In response, the Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) is advising all residents in low-lying areas near the Salmon River to take measures to protect their property.
The River Forecast Centre warns that in regions such as the Shuswap with some mid-elevation snow pack remaining, the Salmon River could see additional rises throughout the week, possibly rapid ones. The centre notes that flows on the Salmon River are now near 20-year return periods. Also, due to rising temperatures starting Wednesday and extending three to four days, combined with possible rainfall, the river may see more significant rises over the weekend or early next week.
Sand and sandbags are being made available in the Shuswap, including at the Silver Creek Fire Hall, 1577 Salmon River Rd., and the Falkland Fire Hall, 2915 Gyp Rd.
Earlier in the month, the City of Salmon Arm also offered residents sandbags.
SEP asks residents to respect social distancing procedures while filling and loading sandbags. Sand is being delivered into multiple piles in order to assist with distancing provisions. Residents are asked to follow directions on the posted COVID-19 signage at these sites.
“Depending on conditions, high water on the Salmon River may reach a 1-in-50-year high flood level, or possibly even higher, by early next week. Residents whose properties are prone to flooding and have already sandbagged, may wish to consider adding additional sandbags or taking other precautionary measures to protect their property,” states a news released from SEP.
If you have questions regarding flooding or access to sand and bags, you’re asked to contact the Shuswap Emergency Program at 250-833-3351.
Residents are reminded, with water levels rising, to be careful near fast-running water or flooded areas.
“Please remember to stay well back from creek banks and use common sense around high water. Children and pets need to be closely monitored around these areas, so keep them within arm’s reach at all times.”
Although current information will be posted on SEP’s Facebook page, Facebook messages will not be monitored after regular business hours.
The best way to receive assistance is by phone at 250-833-3351.