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BC  

Thunderstorm watch begins

Environment Canada has issued special weather statements covering the entire southeastern corner of British Columbia, including the flood-damaged Boundary region, as thunderstorms have the potential to add even more water to already raging rivers.

Forecasters call for as much as 40 millimetres of rain by Friday, and there's concern about added damage caused by heavy downpours during localized thunderstorms.

A news release from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary says properties along the banks of the surging Kettle River are at risk and more evacuation orders are possible as rain and rapid snowmelt could lead to a second round of flooding.

School District 51, which operates eight elementary schools, two secondary schools and a development centre in the Boundary region, says all schools will be closed today because of the potential for sudden, serious flooding.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says the entire district is under a state of local emergency and provincial agencies are closely monitoring the levels of Osoyoos Lake and preparing for evacuation orders if required.

Farther east, the Regional District of Central Kootenay has expanded evacuation alerts along Erie Creek and the Salmo River, while firefighters from across the district have arrived in Salmo to help with sandbagging in anticipation of flooding in that village.

EmergencyInfoBC, the province's online link to emergency information, says rising river levels have prompted evacuation orders or alerts across eight regional districts and in 13 municipalities, communities or First Nations in British Columbia.



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