VANCOUVER –The search continues for two men missing as flooding continues to plague British Columbia’s Interior, and the possibility of further rain and snowmelt has the province bracing for more.
Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall have contributed to overflowing waterways and destructive mudslides across significant portions of southern British Columbia.
RCMP spokesman Dan Moskaluk said on Sunday that Cassidy Clayton, a fire chief in Cache Creek, remains unaccounted for two days after he was believed to have been swept away by a swollen waterway west of Kamloops.
The 59-year-old man was last known to be checking water levels in Cache Creek early Friday and his vehicle was later found at the site.
The Mounties say Clayton is presumed dead and the search has turned into a recovery effort.
A statement from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District says an urban search and rescue team from Vancouver continues to look for a 76-year-old man whose home north of Salmon Arm was “completely enveloped” in a mudslide Saturday.
The worst may be over as water levels recede through western parts of affected areas, including the south and central Okanagan and the Kootenay region, B.C.’s River Forecast Centre said.
Waters appeared to have peaked and remain high in Salmon Creek, Shuswap, Boundary and Southeast B.C., the centre added.
As of Sunday afternoon, a flood watch remained in place for Salmon Creek west of Prince George, and there was no change in a high streamflow advisory for the province’s southeast.
“Drier weather is expected on Sunday and into the early part of next week, and conditions are expected to improve over this time,” a statement said. “Some additional rainfall is forecast in the southern Rocky Mountains on Sunday, and may lead to increased flows locally.”
Officials with the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations said water levels have dropped but evacuation alerts and orders remain in place throughout the area, as do local states of emergency for Kelowna, West Kelowna and the Fintry Delta.
Monitoring roads and creeks in the area remains the priority for emergency crews, officials added.
An evacuation order in Kelowna affects about 90 multi-family units, four single-family homes and one commercial property.
About 90 properties south of Fintry Provincial Park are under evacuation alert and have been told to be prepared to leave their homes on short notice if conditions along Shorts Creek deteriorate.
A boil-water advisory was introduced on Friday for some members of the Westbank First Nation.