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

UPDATED: Military deploys to help flood-ravaged Grand Forks

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

Nearly 150 Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been deployed to help with the flooding in Grand Forks.

According to a federal defence ministry spokesperson, the troops will “begin reconnaissance and liaison with local emergency operations centres” in the flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region.

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 2,500 people remain on evacuation order in the region as floods have swept through the area, with more rain expected on the forecast.

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

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