Floods, outages, emergency

Northern British Columbia is getting hammered by stormy weather and large-scale flooding Wednesday evening, prompting a state of local emergency to be declared in Chetwynd.

Highway 97 in Chetwynd has been closed in both directions at the junction with Highway 29 due to flooding on the road. DriveBC has reported that there are “possible failures in several locations” on the highway.

“According to Environment Canada, 79 mm of rain fell in Chetwynd by noon on June 15, 2016, and a further 30 – 50 mm of rain is expected in the next 24 hours,” states the Chetwynd declaration of a state of local emergency.

Sandbags have been made available outside the Chetwynd Public Works yard for residents.

Additionally, Highway 52, southwest of Dawson Creek has been closed due to flooding.

The provincial government issued a flood watch earlier Wednesday afternoon for the Peace Region, including streams near Pine Pass, Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, and Fort St John, and Northeast B.C. near Fort Nelson.

Environment Canada is forecasting heavy rainfall to continue over the next two days in northern B.C., ranging from 50 to 100 millimetres.

In addition to the heavy rain, wind has caused 20 separate power outages around Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.

Several trees have been knocked onto power lines, shutting power off to over 2,200 people in the area.

Fort St. John has closed all city trails due to falling trees and Prince George has closed all civic baseball and soccer fields “out of concern for public safety.” 


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