The Regional District of Kitimat Stikine and the City of Terrace are keeping watch on local water levels as flooding has already left some roads closed in the Terrace area.
“Right now the regional district is monitoring the various areas (with flooding) … which right now has been confined to low lying areas,” said Wes Petterson, emergency program co-ordinator with the RDSK.
While multiple roads have been closed in the regional district area and the Usk cable car operation is closed as well, the affect of high waters on homes is minimal as of now, said Patterson.
“That’s what we’re trying to get a handle on,” said Patterson about homes, adding that access to them is the key issue at the moment. “Most of the homes, once you get across the water, have not been impacted.”
What this means is “you would require a canoe or pontoon type boat to get to your house, but the water isn’t inside of your house,” he explained.
As of this morning, Kitselas Road was closed at the 4km mark, Robin Road in Old Remo was closed with barricades in place at Whitebottom allowing only local traffic through, in Dutch Valley 20 metres of Bohler Road has some pooling on it but the road remains open, and the Usk cable car operation is closed.
As of 10 a.m., the Flood Watch 2012 Facebook page, a joint effort between the City of Terrace and Regional District of Kitimat Stikine, reported water levels on the Skeena River at Usk to be at 11.428 metres.
The BC River Forecast Centre reported the peak water level today is expected at a further 20 – 30 cm, said the post.
No evacuation alerts have been called, said Patterson, adding that during the 2007 floods water levels reached 12m at Usk before alerts were called.
“We’re looking at calling them a little sooner than that,” he said. “One of the things we’re looking at is how much higher the river is going to go.”
As of now, some people have self-evacuated and Patterson said the Regional District is looking in to what it can do to help.
And the city’s chief administrative officer, Don Ramsay, said that while flooding hasn’t hit city boundaries, the city is keeping watch and is prepared.
“If and when we have sandbags available for people and sand available, we have resources available to man a reception centre which we will share with the regional district,” said Ramsay, adding that concerned residents can call 250-638-4711 and request sand and sandbags.
“They would be directed to where to get the bags and we’d work out with them where the sand was needed,” said Ramsay.
“We are well prepared to deal with any issues with regards to our sewage compounds and we don’t anticipate at this time that the need will arise.”
The city is also working with the Regional District, he said, and “will assist them should they need volunteers and volunteer registration.”
In June 2007, Skeena water levels reached 12.821 on June 5, 13.145 on June 6, 13.319 on June 7 and 12.469 on June 8.