Freshet Update: 2023-05-09

With the current weather and river forecasts in mind for next weekend, the City will begin removing some of the temporary protection assets tomorrow.
In particular, the demountable wall on 2nd Street will be taken down along with some of the safety fencing in the area, allowing through traffic on 2nd Street again later in the week.
The Tiger Dam on Granby and a portion of the Tiger Dam in South Ruckle will be removed by week’s end allowing access to properties and the Darrell Priede Bridge to reopen. Sand piles at Morrissey Creek Road, Barbara Ann Park, and 19th at 61st will be removed as time permits.
Other resources will be left in place for a bit longer as we monitor evolving forecasts.



The State of Local Emergency in Grand Forks has been cancelled and the Evacuation Orders in place for 34 properties within Grand Forks city limits (12th Street, 59th Avenue) have been downgraded to Evacuation Alerts. This does not change any conditions in Area D or other parts of the Boundary.
Residents are still urged to stay clear of fast-moving waters and obey road and trail closures.



A State of Local Emergency has been declared within Grand Forks city limits due to imminent danger in the Johnson Flats area.
An Evacuation Order is now in place for the 34 properties along 12th Street which were previously under an Evacuation Alert (5825-6380 12th Street, and 1270 and 1283 59th Avenue). Residents are required, pursuant to Section 10(1)(h) of the Emergency Program Act, to leave the affected area immediately by using local roads.
To access Emergency Support Services, evacuees must register by calling 1-888-800-6493.


The City of Grand Forks and Regional District EOC have added ten properties to the Evacuation Alert in Grand Forks. Nine properties on the east side of the Granby and Kettle Rivers south of the Yale Bridge (addresses between 6341-7351), and one property in South Ruckle at 6655 10th Street.
Residents in these areas are not required to evacuate at this time, however are advised to be prepared to leave the area on short notice.
For the safety of residents in flood-prone areas and crews working on flood protection, we ask that sightseers please avoid travel in these areas and stay away from river banks as the fast-moving waters represent a significant hazard.



Flood preparation work performed during the week:

Four strategic protection points were identified and protected with either Tiger Dams or sandbags – 19th Street, Riverside Drive north of Central, South Ruckle, and the Trans-Canada Trail east of Rockwool.
Almost 3000 feet of Tiger Dam installed.
More than 35,000 sandbags distributed along with more than 35 dump truck loads of sand
Four pumps setup downtown to assist directing storm water to the new storm water discharge pumps.
An additional sand bag station was set up near Johnny’s Motel.

Upcoming activities this weekend:
BC Wildfire crews (6 local and 14 from Castlegar) are still on site and will be filling sand bags and adding an additional layer of protection to the Tiger Dams in South Ruckle.
City staff and RCMP will be conducting regular patrols to monitor protective works.
Although just opened for the season, the City Park Campground is temporarily closed due to the risk of flooding.
The Emergency Operation Centre will be fully staffed and monitoring river and weather conditions for any change to the forecast, and other crews are on standby to respond as needed.

Additional Evacuation Alerts issued in the City of Grand Forks

Due to the potential danger that may arise from flooding, the City of Grand Forks and Regional District EOC have issued an evacuation alert for seven properties on Granby Road with house numbers between 7419-7551 immediately north of Highway 3.
At this time, residents are not required to evacuate, however people in the affected area are requested to prepare to leave the area with very short notice.
This alert may be upgraded to an immediate order to evacuate should conditions worsen.

The Riverside stormwater pump station was successfully commissioned yesterday while other flood preparation work was underway elsewhere in the city.
The SCADA (telemetry) system that monitors the City’s water system showed that last night the 4th Street (City Park) stormwater pump activated several times for around a minute each time to pump accumulated storm water run-off out of the downtown storm water pipes into the river – exactly as it was designed to do!



The City has requested that the RDKB prepare an Evacuation Alert for 34 addresses on 12th Street in Johnson Flats.  Notifications to affected properties will be delivered this morning.

The RDKB reminds residents who have signed up for their emergency notification app (VoyentAlert) that only residents affected by evacuation alerts and orders will receive notification about those events.



As we continue to monitor river levels and weather forecasts, please exercise extreme caution near the water systems in our community. Please obey signs and barricades blocking off trails due to fast-moving water or potential flooding areas, notably the Black Train Bridge, so that the work crews can continue the safe construction of Tiger Dams behind Roxul, South Ruckle.
Sand piles and bags have been restocked at the following locations for public use.
– 18th Street near the Dog Park/West side of Evergreen Cemetery
– Grand Forks Airport (Fire Training Ground) – 2nd Street and 60th Avenue
– Morrissey Creek Road (Motocross at the ATV Staging Area)
– Barbara Ann Park (82nd Ave near Riverside Drive North)
– Jack Goddard Memorial Arena (2020 Central Avenue)
Grand Forks Secondary Students have been busy filling sandbags, and there are approximately 100 sandbags ready and available at the Arena for public use.



Updates can also be found on the City’s Facebook page.

South Ruckle / Sand bags
Crews from the Grand Forks and Greenwood fire departments have been working on setting up a Tiger Dam in South Ruckle – by the end of today a 1000-foot section will be completed, with about 500 feet more to be constructed tomorrow.
The Trans-Canada Trail has been closed south of the 68th Avenue (Industrial) Bridge in anticipation of Tiger Dam setup along that route, and the Trail has also been closed at the Black Train Bridge in anticipation of the continuation of the South Ruckle Tiger Dam tomorrow.
Sand piles and bags are placed in five locations for public access as previously posted.
In addition, the first 1200 (of about 4500) sandbags have been prepared for deployment along Riverside Drive north of the highway, with additional sandbags being filled this evening and tomorrow. If conditions show these will be needed, they will be placed on Thursday.


Downtown Dewatering

For the first time, the City has large permanent pumping capacity to dewater the downtown core. In previous years, the stormwater collection system ceased to function properly once river levels exceeded our gravity outfalls. This year, stormwater from precipitation and groundwater that rises above grade will be collected in the stormwater network and directed to a) the new 4th St pump station (attached photo is last week’s test run), b) the new Riverside pump station or c) a large temporary pumping system near the Yale Bridge.
If downtown residents or businesses are experiencing flooding in their basements, they are encouraged to direct flow from sump pumps to the nearest storm water grate or sidewalk gutter.
Stormwater grates may be round or rectangular, but will have grates as opposed to solid lids. Please do not attempt to remove a grate or manhole cover and please do not pump into the City’s sanitary sewer system.
If a stormwater grate is backing up, please contact the City so we can address it by calling City Hall on 250-442-8266 any time.

Sandbag Locations

Sand bags and piles of sand have been delivered to the following locations for public use.
– Jack Goddard Memorial Arena (2020 Central Avenue)
– 18th Street near the Dog Park/West side of Evergreen Cemetery
– Grand Forks Airport (Fire Training Ground) – 2nd Street and 60th Avenue
– Morrissey Creek Road (Motocross at the ATV Staging Area)
– Barbara Ann Park (82nd Ave near Riverside Drive north)



As forecast conditions have rapidly evolved over the past 4 days, City and RDKB emergency staff have been getting regular updates from Environment Canada and the BC River Forecast Centre to guide plans for this spring freshet.
Environment Canada continues to forecast heavy rain on Friday with warmer overnight temperatures all week. These conditions combine to steer the river forecast levels high on Saturday (Granby) and Sunday (Kettle), although there is still some uncertainty among the various forecast models as to how high the rivers will flow.
Overnight, EMCR approved the requisitions made yesterday, releasing the provincial resources delivered to Grand Forks over the weekend (Tiger Dams, Hesco bins) for installation and providing for the delivery of sand and sandbags to central locations for public use in protecting private property. Sand bags and sand will be put out this morning – as soon as we know they’re in-place and ready for pickup we’ll be posting an update with locations.
City crews and volunteer firefighters are installing tiger dams and sandbags in strategic locations along public lands to protect transportation routes, city utility infrastructure, including along Riverside Drive north of Central, South Ruckle, and the Trans-Canada Trail near Rockwool. See attached map – protective works will be placed along the side of roads allowing access. City crews are also preparing equipment to support the downtown storm water system to ensure any seeping ground water collected through the storm system or private sump pumps gets directed to the new discharge pumps.
As always, people are reminded to exercise extreme caution and remain clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable river and creek banks.


Current information on the Boundary freshet is regularly updated at