Water is expected to force the closure of Highway 3 in several spots when the Similkameen River rises again laster this week. (File photo)

Prepare now for Highway 3 to close when river rises

Officials are urging residents on evac alerts that have mobility/health issues to self evacuate

When the Similkameen River rises later this week, officials expect it will force the closure of Highway 3 in several areas between Hedley and Keremeos.

The highway was closed near Riverside RV Park, about 14 kilometres west of Keremeos, for several days last week, when water levels in the Similkameen River rose drastically. Crews worked to create berms to hold back the water in the area. The berms might not be enough to hold back the water as warm temperatures are causing snow packs in higher elevations to melt rapidly.

Currently close to 1,400 residents are on evacuation alert in the Similkameen Valley.

Related: Hard work went into reopening Highway 3

DriveBC provided a detour route that sent motorists to Princeton, up to Aspen Grove, across Highway 97 to near Peachland and then through Penticton to Highway 3A.

“Please be advised Nickel Plate Road is washed out and currently impassible,” the release stated.

The Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen issued a release recommending residents with health and mobility issues or who have livestock or animals at low levels, to self-evacuate. Homes currently on evacuation alert should prepare for an evacuation order for some areas in the next few days, the release stated.

“Due to flooding concerns, Highway 3 will likely be closed in multiple locations and it is important that residents prepare now for a potential Evacuation Order. Closure of Highway 3 will potentially strand residents, and people with health issues or livestock need to prepare to self-evacuate,” the release stated.

Related: Evacuation alerts expanded in the Similkameen

Just Posted

Kootenay unemployment rate down in April

Jobless figure stood at 5.4% last month

Rain, storms to hit Kootenays, Boundary amid flood crisis

Environment Canada is calling for 20 to 40 mm of rain by Friday

IH issues drinking water precautions

Be careful during and after floods

Thunderstorms headed to the West Kootenay

Environment Canada re-issued their special weather statement this morning,

Redfish Elementary ready to celebrate outdoor classroom

Timber structure officially introduced on June 8

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to Canada

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

Most Read