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Local State of Emergency issued for parts of Kitimat-Stikine due to flooding

Areas of the City of Terrace now under evacuation alert
Officials at the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine’s operations centre monitor the high water situation on the Skeena River. (Viktor Elias/Terrace Standard)

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine has declared a State of Local Emergency in Old Remo, New Remo, Usk, and northern Kitselas, as flood waters rise in and around the region amid a record-breaking heat wave.

On Tuesday (May 16), Thornhill Fire Chief Rick Boehm said the regional district has issued evacuation orders for Old Remo and New Remo.

An evacuation alert (meaning people should be prepared to evacuate) is also now in place for the following areas in the city of Terrace: Ferry Island Campground, Skeena Street (south of Haugland Ave.), Haugland Avenue (west of Braun St. – south side only), Braun Street (south of Haugland Ave. - west side only), Medeek Avenue (west of Craig St. – south side only), Craig Street, Mills Avenue, Apple Street and Graham Avenue (west of Kenney St.).

Sandbags are currently available at the Thornhill Fire Department and residents are being asked pick up as needed between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, all trails, playgrounds and campsites at Ferry Island are now closed to the public due to high water.

As of the late afternoon of May 16, the City of Terrace is not planning to have its own sandbagging location and is instead encouraging residents to use the station at the Thornhill Fire Department.

The city’s own evacuation alert for Graham Ave. and connecting streets on the southside is based on the provincial model which as of now is forecasting a one in 10/20 year water level.

“The city uses these numbers and compares them with markers we have to try and determine the best information to prepare staff and residents,” said city official Tyler Clarke.

There is also no immediate danger to the city’s lagoon and sewage infrastructure located on the banks of the Skeena, he added.

“The lagoon already sits at a higher elevation and back in 2007 it was close to the edge, but remained safe,” he said of the last time there was a significant high water event.

A berm was built up around the sewage treatment plant after 2007, Clarke added.

“Once that flooding subsided, the berm was left in a way that there’s only a small portion that the city needs to build up and we have the ability to do that on short notice.”

More to come.

Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.

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Flooding in the Old Remo area west of Terrace on May 16. (Viktor Elias/Terrace Standard)
Road closed in the Old Remo area west of Terrace on May 16 due to flooding. (Viktor Elias/Terrace Standard)
Flooding in the Old Remo area west of Terrace on May 16. (Viktor Elias/Terrace Standard)