SICAMOUS (NEWS1130) – People who had to leave their homes because of flash floods in Sicamous are waiting to be let back.

Almost 400 people have been displaced.

This after heavy rain fall over the weekend, causing creeks to overflow their banks.

At least one home was swept away.

Chris Duffy with Emergency Management BC says staff need to make sure it’s safe before people can return.

River forecasters expect the lower Fraser River to drop slightly over the next few days but then rise closer to the weekend as another pulse of water pushes through.

More than 350 people have been forced from their homes, while slides have affected travel on Highway One near Revelstoke.

A local state of emergency and a do-not-use water order are also still in effect.

Duffy says safety their top concern is deciding whether to let people return.

“Once the people on site and the experts go out and carefully assess the situation, so they ensure that the structures and that the potential for any further flooding has ameliorated, then it will be determined for people to return safely to their homes,” Duffy says.

He says 672 people are still under evacuation order across BC, while 1,007 people are on evacuation alert.    
Rain and snowmelt from warm weather are causing rivers and streams across the province to run very high and cause some flooding.

Heavy rain also washed out a bridge near Nelson, sweeping away a 71-year-old man.

It’s not quite as bad in Kamloops, where the North Thompson River is running high, but the local Emergency Operations Centre has moved to a level-two stage of preparedness.

Premier Christy Clark insists all precautions are being taken to keep you safe as flooding threatens much of the province. She is dismissing concerns that dykes on private properties have not been maintained in the Fraser Valley.

“The province has invested $125-million over the last little while, and continuing to invest that in dyking and flood protection up and down the Fraser. So it’s been a really significant investment made in that,” believes Clark.

But she does admit there are lessons that may have to be learned from this past weekend. She says the province will re-evaluate once the situation subsides.

Flooding could mean more mosquitoes

There may be a new problem emerging from all that standing water — mosquitoes.

The situation seems to be under control for now, but that could change very quickly.

“We are forecasting that it could get quite a lot worse because the floodwater comes in and then it takes a while for it to cool down and the hatching of the eggs is temperature-dependent, so we’re not really quite out of the woods yet,” says Dr. Michael Jackson with Culex Environmental.

“The trouble is that the eggs that are laid by some of these mosquitoes can survive in the soil for at least five or six years and maybe as long as 10 years,” he adds. “So, they’re laid all over the place and when a new area floods, the eggs can hatch out.”