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B.C. advises northern farmers to expect floods

Ranchers and farmers in northwestern British Columbia are being advised to prepare for possible flooding on the Nass, Skeena and Kitsumkalum Rivers and other rivers and streams within those river basins.

Water levels in the area were to begin peaking Monday, the provincial public safety department said.

“Farm producers and operators should plan for alternative accommodation on high ground for employees and family members, as well as any livestock, equipment, machinery, perishable supplies, fuel and chemicals,” the province said in a release Saturday.

That said, “agricultural operators are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of their animals and are responsible for their care and feeding.”

A provincial regional emergency operations centre has been set up in the community of Terrace to respond to the flood risk from rising water levels, the province said Saturday.

The province advised residents of the region to “watch for changing conditions, particularly if you live in low-lying areas or near waterways.”

Avoid small creeks and rivers, the province warned, as those watercourses’ channels tend to be narrow and can fill up quickly. Keep children and pets away from stream banks, the province added, as eroded banks result in unstable ground.

Drive carefully and never attempt to drive through floodwater, the province added. “If a car stalls in floodwater, get out quickly and move to higher ground.”

Rural property owners are advised to have a battery-powered radio in working order, with spare batteries, to listen to instructions from local emergency officials. Individual and family emergency kits should also be organized, including important documents, prescription medication, a flashlight and first-aid kit.

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