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Water Today Title October 30, 2020

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This story is brought to you in part by Lawson Mills Biomass Solutions Ltd

A sturdy sea container at the back of the Boundary Extreme Weather Centre in Grand Forks, B.C. is full of recycled clothes donated to help victims of the flood that hit the city one week ago.

Centre co-ordinator , Melissa Shulga said they are bursting at the seams with donations and there isn't room for more.

"There have been lots of individual efforts" to assist people she said, including one volunteer in town who is assembling care packages.

At the nearby curling rink, the Red Cross is also helping, she said.

"People aren't going home. They're waiting for the next surge," Shulga said, adding she doesn't think people will rebuild given the amount of damage to property.

She believes many people will leave the small city with a population of 4,000 souls.

Hannah Baker and her husband with the help of friends started sandbagging at 3 a.m. but their efforts couldn't keep up with the water that rose higher than their house's built-up foundation. The dike built around the home stalled the water for only a short interval.

The house doesn't have a basement, so only the crawl space was flooded.

They managed to remove their two dogs, a cat and a few possessions but everything else was abandoned, a disappointment for her.

"There are things you like to pass down to your children," she said.

The event was a first for the couple. Baker estimates damage at $30,000.

"We will not abandon the property," she said, aware that some friends will move and others won't. "Conditions aren't ideal. You make do."

Environment Canada predicts 40 millimetres of rain could fall at Grand Forks by late Saturday flooding the city yet again if the Kettle and Granby Rivers overflow their banks.

The Canadian Forces have arrived in Grand Forks and other communities to assist with evacuations, sandbagging efforts and protecting property. At Osoyoos, also hard hit by flood waters, Chief Administrative Officer Barry Romanko said homeowners aren't going to lose their homes and he isn't aware of anyone moving.

Elsewhere in B.C. the Westbank First Nation near Kelowna rescinded an evacuation alert Thursday for eight properties in a mobile home park.

The city of Kelowna issued a Water Quality Advisory for most of its territory with the exception of one area. At Prince George and Quesnel, 780 kilometres north of Vancouver, a flood watch was issued Wednesday for the Fraser River.

BC Emergency Services estimates 1,949 homes are under an evacuation order and 5,000 people are under an evacuation alert.

A flood warning has been issued for the Bulkley River, including tributaries around Houston, Smithers, and adjacent areas. Houston is located 300 kilometres west of Prince George, Smithers is on the coast.


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