Raging floodwaters swallow home, trees near Hope, B.C.
Residents of Hope, B.C. have captured video of powerful floodwaters swallowing a home and large trees.
Videos posted to social media show the destruction around Othello Road on Sunday afternoon.
Josh Fleet lives in Hope and was one of the residents who stood by watching it all unfold.
“It’s just devastating to see the house gone like that,” Fleet told CTV News Vancouver. "In a matter of 12 hours the water came up and just swept away a whole house, just like that.”
According to Environment Canada, Hope received 120 millimetres of rain over the weekend and is still under a local state of emergency.
Mayor Peter Robb said a number of properties are under an evacuation alert ahead of Tuesday’s rain event.
“The water level (was) pretty high last night so we wanted to make sure we had it (state of emergency) in place in case we had to move those folks out of there,” Robb said. “Now the worry is, what will tomorrow and the next day bring - weather-wise.”
On Monday, floodwaters had receded enough for Highway 3 to reopen from Hope to Princeton, though transportation minister Rob Fleming described the situation as “constantly evolving."
Over the weekend army personnel worked to secure a dike in Princeton, using sandbags to raise the level of it higher.
Mayor Spencer Coyne said that work had finished and crews were leaving the city Monday afternoon.
“The work they did was priceless for us,” Coyne said. “If we didn’t have that I don't know what state I’d be in to be honest.”
With another rain system approaching Tuesday, Coyne said no one would “breathe easy” until it had passed.
Army personnel were still on the ground in Merritt on Monday reinforcing the banks of the Coldwater River.
According to the city’s information officer Greg Lowis, there was no overland flooding through the weekend, allowing the city to allow day access again for properties south of Nicola Avenue.
The city is currently allowing residents in hard-hit areas to return to their properties in phases. Those in phase three can only access their homes between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., while it’s still too dangerous for people to enter the area classified as phase four.
Lowis believes the city is as prepared as it can be ahead of Tuesday’s rain, but said if too much water comes down there’s nothing people can do aside from “get out of the way.”