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UPDATE: Evacuation alert expanded due to flooding hazard caused by ice jam

Alert now encompasses 2100 blocks of Main St. and Riverside Dr. and 2700 block of Pacific Avenue
Aerial view of ice jam on the Bulkley River that caused flooding and an evacuation alert for some Smithers residents. (Eric Becker photo)

An evacuation alert for residents of low-lying areas adjacent to the Bulkley River near Smithers has been expanded.

The new alert includes residents of the 2100 blocks of Riverside Drive and Main Street and the 2700 block of Pacific Avenue (fall fairgrounds).

The Town of Smithers, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and Village of Telkwa originally issued an ice jam hazard notice for all low-lying areas adjacent to the Bulkley River on Dec. 21.

The warning noted growing ice jams have established conditions for potential flooding.

On Dec. 22, the notice was upgraded to an evacuation alert with the regional district saying there was potential danger to life and health.

The original advisory encompassed the area of Viewmount Road N along the south side of Kidd Road to the end of Kidd Road and south along Viewmount Road N to the Bulkley River. It includes all the properties on Columbia Street, 22nd Avenue, and Bulkley Street.

Residents of those areas were advised to prepare to evacuate.

The original ice jam notice asked people to stay away from the river in general.

“It is recommended that residents exercise extreme caution or limit recreation near and around the river at this time,” the notice stated.

It also contains advice on preparing for property flooding:

“Take precautions to help prevent damage to your home, and ensure personal safety by: moving equipment and other belongings susceptible to water damage to higher ground; moving pets and livestock to a safe area; and gathering essential items such as food, water, medications, and immediate care needs to sustain you and your dependents for up to seven days.”

Contact during business hours for more information or support:

Regional District of Bulkley Nechako: 250-692-1553

Town of Smithers: 250-877-1183

Village of Telkwa:: 250-846-5212

Contact after regular business hours:

Emergency Management BC at 1-800-663-3456 after hours for non-medical, non-RCMP emergencies.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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