Flooding in the north of Rock Creek in the Boundary region of the B.C. Interior
© Brady Strachan/CBC
Flooding in the north of Rock Creek in the Boundary region of the B.C. Interior.
Thousands of British Columbians have been forced from their homes by what some officials are calling a once-in-200-years flood.

Swollen rivers in B.C.'s Interior have spilled their banks, leaving valleys dotted with small lakes and changing what is normally the province's prime ranch country into otherworldly, mirrored paddy fields.

In some places, roads have been washed out and the ground under electricity poles has been so eroded that power lines have come down.



The convergence of extremely heavy snowpacks, sudden downpours and unseasonably warm temperatures have all been factors in the historic flood.

Chris Marsh, emergency operations centre director and program manager for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, says rain has been a particular problem in the eastern area of the region.

An aerial view of the Granby River in B.C.'s Interior.

An aerial view of the Granby River in B.C.'s Interior.
"Over the last 24 to 36 hours we've experienced significant rainfall, up to 50 millimetres in some spots and in some of the drainages in this area, and that's caused the rivers to rise significantly over the past 24 hours," Marsh said Thursday.

Evacuation orders were issued Thursday for about 1,500 properties covering a large area along the Granby, Kettle and West Kettle rivers, as well as in the Carmi region southeast of Kelowna.


Forecasters say there's still a lot of snow in the Monashee Mountains which feed the rivers, and have issued several flood warnings.

Residents have tried to make the best of the situation, hurrying to save what they can as water levels rise.

Volunteers and residents in Grand Forks, a town of 4,000 at the confluence of the Granby and Kettle rivers that was hit hard by flooding, banded together to stack sandbags and pump water.

Resident Steve Horkoff said the flooding is higher than in the disastrous flood year of 1948, when most of southeast B.C. was under water, entire towns were destroyed and lives were lost.

"I was just a little guy but I remember the water on Second Street," Horkoff said.

"This is higher. And if we get another couple days [of this] it'll be a little rough."

Floodwaters are rising in Grand Forks, B.C. Rivers are reaching levels not seen since the disastrous flood year of 1948.
© Bob Keating/CBC
Floodwaters are rising in Grand Forks, B.C. Rivers are reaching levels not seen since the disastrous flood year of 1948.
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