Flooding continues in the Kootenay-Boundary Region. (Cheryl Maddalozzo/Facebook)

UPDATED: Canadian military deploys to help flood-ravaged Grand Forks

Thousands of people remain on evacuation order in the Kootenay-Boundary region

The Canadian Armed Forces are on their way to Grand Forks, but as of Thursday afternoon officials don’t quite know how many will touch down in the Boundary.

According to a media briefing on Thursday afternoon, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Area D Director Roly Russell, 240 members have been deployed so far – 100 of those currently in Vernon, and another 140 from Edmonton set to arrive in Vernon shortly.

Russell said they are not yet sure how many of those will be “boots on the ground” in Grand Forks.

Politicians in the area had confirmed they made the request for federal aid late Tuesday night.

On Wednesday evening, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed that Ottawa was ready to help.

“Federal agencies ready to help in response to B.C’s official request today,” Goodale tweeted.

In a statement released Thursday morning, Goodale said that he had spoken with his provincial counterpart Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

Goodale said that Ottawa is working to coordinate the federal response, which will include support from the Canadian Armed Forces.

“Troops are deploying to the affected areas and will provide assistance with evacuations, help protect key assets from flood damage, and bolster sandbagging efforts,” Goodale said.

The troops come from the Joint Task Force Pacific and personnel from 3rd Canadian Division based in Edmonton.

Initial reconnaissance personnel have been sent to Victoria and Vernon and an additional Immediate Response Unit vanguard, made up of more than 100 personnel, deployed from Edmonton Wednesday night.

The support comes as around 2,900 people remain on evacuation order in the region as floods have swept through the area, with more rain expected on the forecast.

Russell said there is much the Forces can be used for on the ground, including executing evacuation orders and filling sandbags and protecting property. Russell also said the expertise of the teams can be used in damage assessments and working on re-entry plans.

Environment Canada is forecasting thunderstorms and between 20-40 millimetres of rain for the next few days for the Kootenay-Boundary region.

READ MORE: How to help, where to donate, and what to do now

Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday that the province will match up to $20 million in donations made to the Canadian Red Cross to help those affected by the floods.

The dollar-for-dollar donation matching will run from May 16 to July 31, and will apply to any individual donations made by B.C. residents.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Endoscopy Campaign wraps up at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

The KBRH Health Foundation recently held a donor ceremony for contributors to its $450,000 tally

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Elections 2018: Meet your Grand Forks Council Candidates

The biographies of the 13 candidates for City of Grand Forks council

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Most Read