A large number of properties in the Similkameen have been placed under evacuation alert Sunday night.
In total, 1,317 properties are now under evacuation alert in the Village of Keremeos and in the Similkameen River Valley due to an expected increase in river water flow. The alerts are in effect for Keremeos and electoral areas “B” (Cawston), “G” (Keremeos rural/Hedley), and “H” (Princeton rural).
B.C. River Forecast Centre, Environment Canada and the Emergency Management B.C. continue to predict increasing water flows over the next several days with potential for record high flows of the Similkameen River and nearby creeks, due to spring snowmelt. All agencies are actively assessing the situations and should conditions deteriorate, each local government will put Evacuation Orders in place for their affected residents.
Proactive measures to prepare for an Evacuation Order is strongly advised. Affected residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to road closures or evacuation orders, however, residents may receive limited notice due to changing conditions.
Upon notification of an evacuation alert, residents should be prepared for immediate evacuation by:
- Locating all family members or co-workers and designate a meeting place outside the evacuation area, should an evacuation be called while separated
- Gathering essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e., insurance), cell phone charges and immediate care needs for dependants and, if possible, keepsakes (photographs, etc.). Have these items readily available for quick departure
- Preparing to move any disabled persons and/or children
- Moving pets and livestock to a safe area
- Arranging to transport household members or co-workers in the event of an evacuation order. Affected residents needing transportation assistance from the area can call the RDOS emergency operations centre at 250-490-4225;
- Arranging accommodation for family members if possible. In the event of an evacuation, reception centres will be opened if required. Contact 250-490-4225 for information
- Monitoring news sources for information on evacuation orders and locations of reception centres.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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