First Nation in Port Alberni declares state of emergency

Tseshaht First Nation begins evacuations as Somass River upgraded to flood warning

Tseshaht First Nation in Port Alberni has declared a state of emergency as Somass River’s high streamflow advisory has been upgraded to a flood warning.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre upgraded to a flood warning this morning for Somass River, including Sproat River, Ash River and tributaries.

A flood warning means that river levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result.

According to a press release from the Tseshaht First Nation on Saturday, Nov. 25, the Tseshaht Emergency Operations Centre went to Level 3 last night. Home evacuations began last evening, as well as sandbagging of homes.

18 homes are being advised of probable flooding, and it is anticipated that Highway No. 4 (Pacific Rim Highway) will flood. Another 80 homes on reserve are being advised of potential long detours due to road closures.

A declaration of a state of emergency for Tseshaht was made last night.

A series of frontal systems moved over Vancouver Island last week and this weekend, saturating the soil in the area and causing lake levels to increase considerably.

Environment and Climate Change Canadaforecasts about 10 millimetres of rainfall for Port Alberni on Sunday and Monday, then 40mm on Tuesday. The rivers are expected to peak on Monday.

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