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Ice jam threat prompts evacuation alert for northern B.C. community

Residents of Ebenezer Flats area adjacent to the Bulkley River are being warned to prepare to leave
Ice jam forming on the Bulkley River on Dohler Flats (Deb Meissner photo)

An ice jam hazard on the Bulkley River has been updated to an evacuation alert for residents of the Ebenezer Flats area near Smithers.

The Town of Smithers, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and Village of Telkwa issued an ice jam hazard notice for all low-lying areas adjacent to the Bulkley River on Dec. 21.

The warning noted growing ice jams have established conditions for potential flooding.

Last night Dec. 22, the notice was upgraded with the regional district saying there was potential danger to life and health.

The new advisory encompasses the area of Viewmount Road N along the south side of Kidd Road to the end of Kidd Road and south along Viewmount Road N to the Bulkley River. It includes all the properties on Columbia Street, 22nd Avenue, and Bulkley Street.

Residents of those areas were advised to prepare to evacuate.

The original notice asked people to stay away from the river.

“It is recommended that residents exercise extreme caution or limit recreation near and around the river at this time,” the notice stated.

It also contains advice on preparing for property flooding:

“Take precautions to help prevent damage to your home, and ensure personal safety by: moving equipment and other belongings susceptible to water damage to higher ground; moving pets and livestock to a safe area; and gathering essential items such as food, water, medications, and immediate care needs to sustain you and your dependents for up to seven days.”

Contact during business hours for more information or support:

Regional District of Bulkley Nechako: 250-692-1553

Town of Smithers: 250-877-1183

Village of Telkwa:: 250-846-5212

Contact after regular business hours:

Emergency Management BC at 1-800-663-3456 after hours for non-medical, non-RCMP emergencies.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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