UPDATE: 7:40 p.m.
Evacuation orders have been issued for several areas within the flood-ravaged Okanagan Similkameen area.
The RDOS Monday issued evacuation orders for several properties within electoral areas G, B and H.
- 3455 Highway 3 - Riverside Estates
- 4354 Highway 3 - Riverside RV Park
- 186 Chopaka Road
- 1049 Chopaka Road
- 1050 Chopake Road
- 1101 Chopaka Road
Several properties in Coalmont have been ordered to evacuate.
These include properties on the following streets:
- Bettes Avenue
- Campbell Avenue
- Parrish Avenue
- Columbia Street
- Fraser Street
- Front Street
- Hope Street
- Main Street
Click here for a complete list of the orders.
UPDATE: 3:50 p.m.
The Tulameen Fire Department says phone lines are down in Tulameen, including at the fire hall, and residents should contact them via messenger or come to the hall in person if absolutely necessary for health and safety.
"Otherwise STAY WHERE YOU ARE and shelter where you are to ride this out. DO NOT go check out the river and look around. Stay home and stay safe. ALL ROADS out of Tulameen are CLOSED, UNSAFE, and conditions are rapidly changing. Prepare for likely power outage," reads their Facebook update Monday afternoon.
Find the fire department on Facebook here.
UPDATE: 12:20 p.m.
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is still assessing damage and further threats as flooding continues in Similkameen communities.
Erick Thompson, information officer with the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre, said they don't have specifics on infrastructure damage at the moment, but the key message is public safety.
"Stay in place, shelter in place. It's important that people don't go down near the water, there are a lot of potential dangers that people might not see, one of them would be trees. With all of that water flowing, it can impact the bottom of the trees, that root system, that can impact other things," Thompson said.
"There could be propane tanks in the area that they've stored. So there are a lot of potential hazards, it's important that people stay in place and stay away from the water's edge."
The flooding situation is still dynamic and evolving, with more rain expected in the forecast. Thompson said anyone with immediate concerns about health and safety should call 911, or contact the RDOS for advice at 250-490-4225.
The RDOS has a helicopter heading up to look at the situation Monday. Thompson said he expects a better idea of what is happening on the ground at around 3 p.m.
In the meantime, he urges RDOS residents to register with the ESS should they need to access emergency services.
Thompson did not have information available as of late Monday morning about communities other than Princeton and Tulameen that may be facing flood risk as well. That information will be part of the aerial assessment.
The river through Keremeos is swelling, according to footage shared on Twitter.
The Ashnola River through Keremeos. Flood waters are starting to approach houses, already flooded some housing towards Hedley. Water is about 20 feet higher than normal. Absolutely insane #BCStorm #BCFlood pic.twitter.com/LxV7hEltNr— Jez (@Zer0PucksGiven) November 15, 2021
The Penticton Emergency Support Services centre has activated to support flood evacuees. Call 1-833-498-3770 to register over the phone, or register in person at 2965 South Main Street in Penticton.
There is currently no risk of flooding in Penticton.
UPDATE: 10:50 a.m.
Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne had emotion in his voice Monday morning when he described the scene in his town.
"I've been here all my life. We've never had a flood this like this yet. I talked to a gentleman today, been here 65 years, he said he's never seen one like this," Coyne said.
The town's works yard is flooded, and a boil water notice is in place. A total of 295 properties have been placed under evacuation order.
"It's still raining so the water has started slowly coming back up. We just had a crew monitoring and they just came back and told us that it's slowly starting to rise. It's raining pretty good here again," Coyne said.
A dike has breached in part of the town that is a number one priority to fix at this time.
But there is some good news too. Coyne said they have just finished an assessment of the town wells, and they are all protected at this point.
"Right now it's just trying to slow the water down and keep it keep it from keeping coming into town," Coyne said.
"I want to thank the community for doing what they're doing. Our emergency responders and our public works for for everything they're doing. It's a real team effort."
UPDATE: 10: a.m.
The Tulameen and District Fire Department has announced that Coalmont Road by the Tulameen Bridge has been completely washed out and eroded.
They do not recommend going around via the KVR or through the gun range road, as that has not been checked for road debris at this time.
They report rain is still falling and washout from the Tulameen River continues.
Coalmont townsite residents have been evacuated to the Tulameen Fire Hall. Dozens of addresses in the area are under evacuation order. Find the full list here.
ORIGINAL: 8:30 a.m.
Reader submitted photos show neighbourhoods partially underwater, and the river raging. Highway 5A at Princeton is closed, as is Highway 3.
Power was disrupted to the town early in the morning. The town's emergency management department advised residents around 2 a.m. to start storing water.
"Fill your bathtubs, jugs, containers, anything you can store water in," they wrote on their official Facebook page.
A boil water notice is in place for all water that will be used for drinking, making ice, cooking, washing food or brushing teeth. Use a hand sanitizer after washing hands.
Dozens of properties in low-lying areas are on evacuation alert or order. Evacuees can check in to the Emergency Support Services centre at 148 Old Hedley Road, known locally as the Riverside Centre. They can also be reached at 250-273-0143.
Evacuation alerts and orders for Princeton can be found here.
Residents are encouraged to sign up to Voyent Alert, which the town uses to send out such notices.
All schools in the district 58 which serves Princeton and Merritt are closed Monday.
Multiple properties in the nearby community of Tulameen are also under evacuation order. Those addresses can be found here. They are able to report to the same Emergency Support Services centre in Princeton.
A friend owns one of the 34 properties just evacuated in Tulameen, near Princeton. They just sent this footage. Wait until the end to see the river about to breach the bank. #BCStorm https://t.co/TbMw9SMSof pic.twitter.com/bNOMOJ22IH— Bob Kronbauer (@BobKronbauer) November 15, 2021