May 20th, 2018

Armed forces arrive in B.C. as federal assistance approved for flooded areas

By The Canadian Press on May 17, 2018.

A barn is surrounded by floodwaters from the Kettle River in Grand Forks, B.C., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The first wave of 140 Canadian troops is arriving in British Columbia to help communities overwhelmed by flood waters.

The Canadian Armed Forces says staff from Joint Task Force Pacific and personnel from the 3rd Canadian Division based in Edmonton will arrive today at a staging area in Vernon.

From there, troops are expected to be deployed to areas such as Grand Forks, where officials in the southern Interior city say a second round of flooding is imminent.

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale says in a news release that members of the armed forces will help with evacuations, sandbagging and property protection.

Initial reconnaissance personnel have also been sent to Victoria to co-ordinate with provincial officials on the deployment of additional vehicles, equipment, and personnel.

Soaring temperatures over the last week caused rapid melting of extremely heavy snowpacks, swelling many rivers in B.C. to flood stage and prompting evacuation orders or alerts affecting more than 2,000 properties.

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