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High snowpack in Kootenays and Columbia Valley increases flood risk

Snowpacks in our area are still high, creating an increased risk of flooding this month.

“Large parts of British Columbia may be facing challenging flood conditions in the coming days and weeks,” says Pader Brach, executive director of regional operations for Emergency Management BC. ”It’s important to be prepared for heavy rains that could worsen existing flooding or create new flooding.”

“British Columbians should pay close attention to weather forecasts in their local authorities and focus on the weather alerts for your area from Environment Canada.”

In the East Kootenay, snow measurements are at 166 per cent of normal.

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The West Kootenay’s measurements are even higher with 170 per cent of normal.

Lastly, Columbia Valley snow measurements are at 165 per cent of normal.

According to the BC River Forecast Centre, any region with measurements above 140 per cent of normal are at significant risk of flooding.

“For those at risk of flooding I encourage you to plan now,” added Brach.

“Assemble a grab-and-go bag for your household with the essentials you need if you’re asked to evacuate. This should include medications and copies of important documents.”

He says there are a number of things we can do to help lower the risk of flooding.

“For most of the Interior, the worst risk may still be ahead of us. If you’re in an area of elevated risk you can help prevent flooding by making sure your gutters or storm drains on your street are clear of leaves and debris.”

You can review the latest update from the BC River Forecast Centre below.

MORE: Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin June 1 (B.C. government)

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