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220 properties ordered evacuated because of flooding near Nelson, B.C.
VANCOUVER -- The Regional District of Central Kootenay has issued an evacuation order for 220 properties in two areas on Kootenay Lake because of flooding.
The order covers properties in the Duhamel Creek area, northeast of Nelson, and Crawford Bay.
The regional district had already declared a state of emergency because of risk of flooding in the area, and had issued an evacuation alert for nearly the entire region, with the exception of the towns of Castlegar and Nelson.
Chris Johnson, the director of emergency operations for RDCK, said hot weather that melted mountain snowpacks and several rainstorms that moved through the region created the perfect conditions for spring flooding.
The smaller creeks have been affected first, but staff will be keeping an eye on the Salmo and Slocan rivers over the next 12 to 36 hours as those larger waterways begin to absorb the extra water.
"We're running into problems not just … (next to) streams - culverts are plugging up on highways and roads, roads are washing out, people are getting stranded if they live on dead-end roads," Johnson said.
Evacuated residents are being instructed to go to the Best Western Hotel in Nelson and the Sandman Inn in Castlegar.
Environment Canada has also issued a special weather statement for the Arrow Lakes and Slocan Lake, saying that a band of thunderstorms moved up through the southern Interior Saturday night, bringing lightning, gusting winds and five to 20 millimetres of rain.
More rainstorms are expected Sunday over the Kootenay and Columbia regions, with an additional 10 to 25 millimetres of rain forecast and up to 35 millimetres "where rainfall is enhanced by morning thunderstorms," Environment Canada warned.
The storms could lead to rising rivers, downed trees, flash flooding and dangerous conditions to people if they are outside, according to Environment Canada.
The RDCK is advising anyone who lives near a river, creek or stream in the area to be prepared to evacuate on short notice.