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Evacuate when asked, minister urges B.C. residents

QMI Agency

As a flood watch continues around B.C., residents were urged to "evacuate when emergency officials request it" by minister of justice and attorney general Shirley Bond Saturday.

"We understand how difficult it might be for families to leave their homes, but they are only asked to do that when there is an imminent potential safety risk. When an evacuation order is given, it is essential that everyone consider their safety and that of first responders and leave as requested," Bond said in a statement.

"Emergency management officials don't want to see the forcible removal of anyone from a property - rather, we depend on individuals to heed the advice of public safety professionals, whose decisions and directions are made with the highest regard for the safety of you and your loved ones," Bond said.

Swollen by melting snow and rain, the Fraser River has reached levels not seen for 40 years and has caused flooding from the province's interior to the Fraser Valley.

Early Sunday, Environment Canada said that a slow-moving low pressure system situated off the coast of Oregon state was expected to drop between 10 to 20 mm on the Arrow Lakes, Slocan Lake and East Kootenay regions.

It also forecasted potential development of severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds Sunday afternoon.