Are you ready for floods?

The government of B.C. has issued a flood advisory warning and a call to action for residents to develop a flood plan.

Last year spring flooding forced more than 2,500 British Columbians from their homes, and Kelowna was particularly hard hit.

By the time floodwaters receded, Emergency Management BC had dispatched more than 4.4 million sandbags and deployed kilometres of temporary dike structures in the Okanagan region. Despite these and other interventions, many communities are still mopping up almost a year after the floods began.

This year's snowpack is very high prompting more flood fears.

While a high snowpack does not necessarily lead to an active flood year, it has been a long, cold winter, and the River Forecast Centre is keeping a close watch on snowmelt and water levels.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is reviewing mitigation proposals for construction of protective earthen berms, creek channelization or debris retention basins, and ensuring bridges and culverts are ready.

The government also says Emergency Management BC is committed to improving the public safety of all British Columbians and say they are investing heavily in flood prevention and protection.

Last month, the governments of Canada and B.C. announced funding for 30 projects, valued at approximately $12.1 million (including investments from local governments and NGOs), through the National Disaster Mitigation Program. The B.C. government contributed approximately $5 million. This amount is on top of the $60 million EMBC announced in March 2017, which is earmarked for flood mitigation projects in B.C. communities most at risk.

As we approach spring the government wants to remind residents to know their risks and act accordingly. Develop a household plan, put together your emergency kit and connect with your neighbours.


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