Several BC communities saw historical temperature records broken over the weekend as an unseasonable spate of hot weather gripped much of the province. Agassiz saw temperatures hovering around 31.6 C, breaking a record of 31.3 C set in 2018, while Fort Nelson set a new record of 28.1 C from the 25.6 C set in 1973. Temperatures at the Squamish Airport reached 32.4 C, which broke a 2018 record of 29.6 C. Environment Canada says it issued special weather statements for the BC coast covering Metro Vancouver and the province’s interior as above average temperatures are expected to persist for a few more days.
The BC River Forecast Centre says high temperatures seen across the province this weekend will cause the snowpack to melt and swell rivers, warning of high streamflows and rapidly changing conditions. The centre says it has issued high streamflow advisories for the Dean River, the Bella Coola River, the Upper Columbia, West Kootenay, East Kootenay, Boundary including the Kettle River, and the Granby River and its tributaries. The advisories say no major flooding is expected, but warns people to stay away from fast moving waters being fed by the melting snowpack.
The Peace River Regional District has issued an evacuation order for residents near the Stoddart Creek wildfire, saying on Saturday night that it posed an immediate threat to peoples’ safety. The regional district also ordered the evacuation of the Donnie Creek and Tommy Lakes areas over the weekend due to wildfire activity, but the areas are sparsely populated and used mostly by forestry, oil and gas workers. The district also lifted an evacuation order for residents of the Goodlow area near Boundary Lake, but kept an evacuation alert, so people could stay prepared to leave quickly should the situation turn dangerous again. The regional district declared a state of local emergency for Electoral Area B due to wildfire activity more than a week ago and crews continue to battle newly-sparked blazes in the area.
Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart says her riding has been hit hard by weather-related disasters over the past few years and the province needs to tackle climate change. With parts of the province experiencing record-breaking heat over the weekend, Tegart says her riding seems like the epicentre of climate change-related disasters over the past few years. The BC United opposition MLA says its incumbent upon the province to step up and help people hurt by weather related disasters and their aftermath, while also being proactive with preventative measures. Tegart says flooding in Merritt in 2021 and more recently in Cache Creek means the province needs to show leadership and take action to protect and preserve rural infrastructure that plays a crucial role in provincial commerce.
Former Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the current city administration under Ken Sim is failing to live up to agreements made with the province about how to help people living in encampments. In an update sent out Sunday by his Forward Together party, Stewart says the City of Vancouver under Sim “recklessly disregarded” a memorandum of understanding between the city, the park board, and the province. The update says the agreement stipulated that any actions taken against encampments would not be led by police, and Stewart says Sim’s support of the VPD in dismantling the tent encampment was a “hyper colonial” and “cruel” approach. Stewart says Sim was not telling the truth with claims that adequate housing was available to people whose tents and possessions were lost in the sweep of Hastings Street in April.
Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta says flooding in his community this year is worse than he’s ever seen in the 50 years he’s lived there, and he hopes a permanent solution can be found to avoid future floods. Ranta says the village has flooded over and over for the past few years and, while residents are resilient, he hopes city council can come up with a solution soon. Ranta says residents aren’t able to get overland flood insurance so there’s a plan to start a fund where people can donate if they want to help.