‘Worst I think I’ve ever seen’: Cache Creek on edge as inbound heat raises flood risk – BC

The water levels were high, but the anxiety levels were higher in British Columbia’s Cache Creek, where about 300 people remained under flooding evacuation orders Wednesday.

The orders went out Tuesday night to residents of the Sage and Sands mobile home park, along with dozens of properties on Old Cariboo Road, Nugget Road and Collins Road, amid concerns about the adjacent Bonaparte River.

“We had to evacuate right away because … the river (was) coming up really, really high,” evacuee Barbara Wiebe, who is staying with her cat in a local motel, told Global News.

“We could lose our homes. Hopefully, we don’t. Hopefully, we all stay safe and we get to go home soon.”

Click to play video: 'Local state of emergency in effect for Cache Creek'

Local state of emergency in effect for Cache Creek

It is the second round of evacuations for the hard-hit community, which remains under a state of local emergency, after more than a week of flooding and damage due to rising waters on Cache Creek.

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There is concern flooding from the Bonaparte River could be even worse this time.

Mayor John Ranta said the river draws from a different mountain snowpack, which is expected to melt rapidly in an approaching heat wave.

“As of yesterday (the river) was running at 100-year levels as far as its flow went, and we’re anticipating 34-degree temperatures over the next couple of days and there’s still a significant snowpack that feeds the Bonaparte River.”

Click to play video: 'Looming heat in B.C. sparks fire and flood concerns'

Looming heat in B.C. sparks fire and flood concerns

That snowpack, he said, is currently sitting at about 170 per cent of normal.

“The water just comes when it comes and all you can do is try to prepare for it.”

“Good news, I think, would be that the temperature will cool off and the water will stop flowing and we can get back to recovery from the devastation we’ve seen over the last week or two.”

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While the Bonaparte is rising, lighter-than-expected rain over the weekend has allowed the community to take a breather and begin dealing with some of the impacts of the first wave of flooding.

On Wednesday, firefighters were back at the Cache Creek fire hall, shoveling out the last of mud and debris that had inundated the building, with its fire trucks expected to move back on Thursday.

“We’ve been through this before, they know the procedure and they do an awesome job,” Fire Chief Tom Moe said of his crew.

Click to play video: 'Village of Cache Creek continues to deal with spring flooding'

Village of Cache Creek continues to deal with spring flooding

Evacuees, meanwhile, are being directed to an emergency social services reception centre in nearby Kamloops, where trailer park resident Cameron Stratton said he was going.

“I made it through the fires in 100 Mile (House) a couple of years in a row and I didn’t leave there. But (this) was a mandatory evacuation, it wasn’t optional,” he said.

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“(The water is) probably within an inch of the back of the trailer.”

Wiebe says she plans to stay at the motel in Cache Creek until she’s able to return home, adding everyone is praying that’s sooner than later.

“Our small little community has been through so much — the fires in 2017, then a flood prior to that six years ago when we lost our fire chief,” she said.

“Now this. This is the worst I think I’ve ever seen Cache Creek, and I grew up here.”

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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