BC Government says there's no rush to remove sandbags

Floodwaters and groundwater in many places in the Central Interior are expected to continue to rise, and the threat may not be over for some time.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Emergency Management BC, says only remove sandbags if directed to do so by your local government or if the flood threat has passed.

When floodwaters begin to recede in British Columbia's Southern and Central Interior, focus will shift from emergency response to the ongoing recovery in these regions.

As part of this recovery, please follow the directions of local governments for the proper disposal of emergency sandbags.

Sand and sandbags that have been in contact with floodwaters may be exposed to contaminants, and British Columbians are encouraged to take precautions to ensure their safety and the protection of the environment.

- The sandbags used in the flood response should be removed and appropriately disposed of after it is safe to do so.

- It is important to wear gloves and boots to protect yourself from scrapes and potential contaminants.

- Due to the potential of contamination, residents are advised to not use the sand in playgrounds, sandboxes or other areas where there might be direct human contact.

- Sandbag contents should not be disposed of in lakes, rivers, wetlands, floodplains, parks or other environmentally sensitive or protected areas.

- Sandbags used in the flood response should be disposed of according to the direction of local emergency authorities.

Individuals are reminded they should always wash their hands with soap and warm water after contact with floodwaters or handling items that have come into contact with floodwaters.