Firefighters in Grand Forks are struggling to keep up with the calls as they rescue people stranded by the muddy floodwater. Officials are warning residents to brace for a second surge despite river levels nearly diminishing to pre-flood levels. The melting snow at higher elevations is causing the massive amounts of water to flood parts of British Columbia.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BCFloods2018?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BCFloods2018</a> waters recede in downtown <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GrandForks?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GrandForks</a>, damage assessed by business & property owners. Sandbagging continues over concern over another possible flood. Credit: <a href="https://twitter.com/allnewsbob?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@allnewsbob</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/CityNewsVAN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CityNewsVAN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BT_Vancouver?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BT_Vancouver</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/NEWS1130?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NEWS1130</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcfloods?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcfloods</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/uVSwtmvzVH">pic.twitter.com/uVSwtmvzVH</a></p>— Andrea Macpherson (@AMacOnAir) <a href="https://twitter.com/AMacOnAir/status/995495838632706048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 13, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Over 30 people have been rescued by firefighters with some having to swim through the muddy and disease-ridden water. The Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth inspected the damage caused by the flood in Grand Forks calling it "absolutely devastating." Farnworth went on to say, "You see homes, you know, the water is still halfway up, there’s trucks you can see that are still in the water. You can see that even though the water dropped, where the water level was. The river itself has brand new channels. There are homes that are slumped into the water."
1,400 evacuation orders have been issued which affect as many as 2,800 people, the majority of which are in Kootenay. Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Center has ordered around 330 homes in the Village of Keremeos to evacuate due to an increase in river water flow. The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary says three of the area's rivers all broke 1948 water level records. The district is warning people against entering the floodwaters which contain sewage, chemicals, and other dangerous toxins. One man in Texas lost his life shortly after becoming ill due to flood waters from Hurricane Harvey.
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Frances Maika of the district said, "Waters have receded actually quite a bit but there is pooling water… what people are going to see over the next couple of days is the waters continue to recede and it’s going to start to look something like pre-flood levels. However, what we really want to get through to everybody is we’ve got 30-degree temperatures coming up over the next few days and that’s going to bring down a whole bunch of snow."
Maika added he is sure that there will be a review of how the flood was handled. "Like all of us like to live down on valley bottom and really often these valley bottoms are floodplains. Across British Columbia, across Canada even, there are many, many communities that have built up over the years close to or on floodplains, and so we have lots of issues to contend with after this. People have seen flooding here before, last year there was quite a bit of damage from flooding, but this is the worst anybody has seen and so there are going to be a lot of questions, a lot of thinking, planning, and discussion to follow this event but we’re still in the response phase. We haven’t even moved into recovery."
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