Keremeos residents should prepare to evacuate, village says

Logs coming down the Similkameen River damaged the Red Bridge in Keremeos. (Brennan Phillips Keremeos Review)Logs coming down the Similkameen River damaged the Red Bridge in Keremeos. (Brennan Phillips Keremeos Review)
Not only is there the constant worry of flooding, but now Keremeos is being pounded with wind and rain. (Brennan Phillips Review)Not only is there the constant worry of flooding, but now Keremeos is being pounded with wind and rain. (Brennan Phillips Review)
Debris coming down the river. (Brennan Phillips Review)Debris coming down the river. (Brennan Phillips Review)

Keremeos residents are advised to be ready to evacuate properties adjacent to the Similkameen River, including all low-lying areas in Keremeos.

The Village of Keremeos stresses this isn’t an evacuation order, but the situation is changing very quickly.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre and Village of Keremeos has engineers assessing dikes, river flows and the upstream weather.

Large trees coming down the Similkameen River have done some damage to the Red Bridge, which is seeing the water rising to the underside of the bridge.

A tree the size of a train car was expected to hit the bridge when it broke in half and sunk upstream, said Keremeos Review reporter Brennan Phillips who is on scene Monday.

The wind and rain were picking up, making for wild weather in Keremeos, said Phillips.

The Grist Mill has opened the campground to anyone with an event that needs to move, or as a place for people to meet up.

An RCMP officer had stopped by the bridge, waiting to see if a close order was coming.

Sand and bags are available on 1st Avenue off of Highway 3A past the school in Keremeos for residents who need to start preparing for potential flooding.

According to the government’s hydrometric station data, the Similkameen River rose from 1.6 metres to 5.56 metres in the space of 20 hours. By Monday morning, the flow was just shy of 1,000 cubic metres a second, or roughly enough water flowing to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every two-and-a-half seconds.

READ MORE: Keremeos readies as the Similkameen River swells

The village council meeting and public hearing is also cancelled for Monday night.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

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