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A flooded area of Grand Forks, B.C., is seen in an aerial view on Saturday.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Soaring temperatures and melting mountain snow packs are threatening to swell floodwaters in British Columbia and force the evacuation of thousands more from their homes, emergency officials say.

“Without a doubt, this is an extreme weather event with respect to the heat, and certainly concern for the potential for snow melt from the weather,” David Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre, said in a conference call with media on Monday. “Obviously weather over the next period is going to be critical for how the situation plays out.”

Mr. Campbell said temperatures are six degrees above normal in many parts of the province and that snow is melting more quickly at lower elevations. He added that forecasts this week include extremely high temperatures – 10 to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.

He said parts of the Fraser Valley could reach historic flow levels in Hope by the weekend and could grow to levels unseen since 1948.

“The next seven to 10 days here is really going to be the crux for the Fraser,” he said.

“At this point, there’s high concerns over the potential for flooding through this week, particularly through the Okanagan, Boundary, Shuswap areas, where we have already experienced significant challenges,” he said.

Bryson McKinnon paddles a kayak past a home surrounded by floodwaters in Osoyoos, B.C., on Sunday.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Asked specifically about the prospects for the community of Grand Forks, which has been hit hard by flooding, he said in a statement that water levels on the Granby and Kettle rivers are rising and expected to continue doing so through the week, with showers in the middle of the week making the situation worse. “There is the potential, particularly in the Kettle River, for flows to exceed flows experienced last week,” Mr. Campbell wrote.

During the conference call, he also pointed out issues along the Similkameen River and emerging concerns in areas such as the Kootenays and the Fraser River, where rain and hot weather could prove particularly challenging.

“Those are going to be the key areas through this week and potentially into the weekend as we go through this hot weather and potential rain,” he said.

Mr. Campbell said water from snow melts is working its way down into the Fraser River but it is difficult to forecast the affect, adding that the “uncertainty piece” is the flow of water from mountain areas.

A man places a sandbag in the back of a pickup truck as volunteers fill them for distribution to residents dealing with flooding in Osoyoos, B.C., on Sunday.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Chris Duffy, executive director of programs with Emergency Management BC, said the province has escalated its readiness in light of the weather conditions and snow melts.

“The province will continue to support local authorities and First Nations responding to and recovering from this flooding event,” Mr. Duffy said during the conference call with Mr. Campbell.

However, he said he did not know how much the province has spent so far to deal with the situation.

As of Monday, he said, the province had 1,988 homes on evacuation order and 2,621 on evacuation alert. However, he added, the situation is very much in flux.

A flooded area of Grand Forks, B.C., is seen in an aerial view on Saturday.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Also on Monday, the province announced that disaster financial assistance is now available for eligible residents, who have been affected by flooding since May 7. In a statement, the province said it would be available to homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies in the regional districts of Kootenay Boundary, Okanagan Similkameen, Central Okanagan, Columbia Shuswap and North Okanagan who have been unable to get insurance to cover disaster-related losses. The assistance covers 80 per cent of eligible damage exceeding $1,000, to a maximum claim of $300,000.

At the legislature, Premier John Horgan said he spoke to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the previous day about the flooding. “He assured me that the federal government stands ready to work with communities, to work with the province and to work with all British Columbians to ensure we get through this unprecedented flood season,” he said.

Speaking to the situation in Grand Forks, Mr. Horgan said, “I believe we’re doing all we can as a government and as a legislature to speak up and to ensure that those that are in distress right now know that we have their backs.”

With files from the Canadian Press