More BC First Nations under evacuation orders due to flooding, wild fire

·2 min read

Evacuation orders have been issued for three more bands and another stands on evacuation alert in British Columbia.

There are now eight First Nations as of press time that have been severely impacted by an extreme weather event in the form of record rainfall in a short period and rivers overflowing their banks and breaking through dykes.

This afternoon, the Lytton First Nation was ordered to evacuate due to wildfire and flooding, and earlier today the Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island issued evacuation orders for portions of IR#1 and IR#9, while the City of Abbottsford issued an evacuation order for the Sumas First Nation in IR#6.

Early this afternoon the Lower Similkameen Indian Band issued an evacuation alert for IRs# 2, 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Evacuation orders issued yesterday are still in place for Shackan Indian Band, Coldwater Indian Band, Cook’s Ferry Indian Band (IR#7) and Nooaitch Indian Band (IR#10).

All band evacuations are listed on the First Nations Emergency Services Society website (fness-eoc.ca).

Evacuees have been directed to register at sites in Abbottsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Hope, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Salmon Arms. They can also register online.

The City of Merritt in its entirety was evacuated yesterday as were portions of the town of Princeton and Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Today the City of Chilliwack declared a state of local emergency and issued an evacuation notice for the neighbourhood of Yarrow.

The rain also caused mudslides in the early evening Sunday along Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope stranding 275 motorists, estimated to be about 100 vehicles, overnight. Helicopters worked into the evening Monday to safely airlift everyone.

Today work began to sift through the mudslide debris to look for vehicles or people. Officials say it has been difficult to know whether people are unaccounted for as motorists were also trapped by mudslides on other highways in southwestern BC.

Windspeaker.com

By Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com

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