Flooding in Grand Forks, BC, 11 May 2018 (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary)
A combination of heavy rain, warm temperatures and rapid snowmelt from the mountains has created major flooding in Interior British Columbia.
About 4,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes mainly in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.
At the confluence of two rivers – the Granby and the Kettle – the city of Grand Forks has been hardest hit where firefighters have rescued dozens by boat.
The province has issued evacuation orders or alerts in six other regional districts and eight First Nations.
Officials say this spring’s flooding is worse than the devastating floods of 1948.
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.
From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:
1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia
2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba
3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario
4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island
5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August
6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada
7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March
8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September
9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April
10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January
Kitsilano neighbourhood,Vancouver, BC, 19 Dec 2017 (Twitter)
It doesn’t snow in Vancouver very often but when it does panic typically ensues on streets and sidewalks.
About 7 cm fell at Vancouver International Airport yesterday with higher amounts reported to the north and east.
Snow also fell on Vancouver Island with only 3 cm in Victoria but at least 20 cm in Nanaimo.
Parts of the British Columbia interior picked up more than 30 cm.
Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)
More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.
Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.
Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.
The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.