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Flooding prompts state of local emergency in Cache Creek

One property has been placed on evacuation order

Flooding prompted the Village of Cache Creek to declare a State of Local Emergency on Sunday (April 30), after a sudden rise in temperature in the Southern Interior led to faster snowmelt rates and caused Cache Creek to overflow at the Quartz Road culvert on April 29, leading to flooding in the downtown area.

The village has also issued an evacuation order for one property on the Trans-Canada Highway east of town which borders Cache Creek. As of May 1, no other properties were under evacuation order or alert.

This is the fifth year since 2015 that Cache Creek has dealt with flooding in the creek, thew Bonaparte River, or both. In 2015 an unusually heavy rainfall prompted flooding that caused millions of dollars in damage, while in 2017, 2018, and 2020 the village endured flooding during the spring freshet. The 2017 flood also took the life of Cache Creek fire chief Clayton Cassidy, who was swept away by floodwater while inspecting a bridge over the creek.

After a relatively cool April, temperatures increased dramatically throughout the region at the end of the month. On April 29, the Cache Creek area hit 31.2 C, the highest temperature ever recorded there on that date (the previous April 29 high was 28.9 C, set in 1957). Environment Canada is forecasting that temperatures in the area throughout the week of May 1 will be in the region of 25 C to 30 C, well above the average seasonal high of 19 C.

Nineteen B.C. communities hit new high temperatures for April 29, including Clinton (24.5 C; previous high of 21.1 C set in 1979), Kamloops (31.6 C), Lytton (30.7 C), and Merritt (29 C).

The River Forecast Centre has issued a flood watch for the Lower Thompson area due to the increase in temperatures. In an updated bulletin on Sunday morning (April 30) it said that the areas of concern included Skeetchestn, Cache Creek and the surrounding area, Deadman River, Criss Creek, and the Bonaparte River.

“A strong upper ridge that brought hot temperatures across the province is breaking down,” the bulletin noted. “An upper low is expected to bring unsettled weather and showers [Sunday], particularly for the South Interior.

“Another period of warmer temperatures is expected next week, with well above average temperatures expected.”

READ MORE: Some communities in B.C.’s interior remain on flood watch with rain in the forecast

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