Water levels at Cedar Point Park near Likely continue to be high, as seen here Friday, June 26, and more rainfall is in the forecast through to Thursday, July 2. The Cariboo Regional District is advising residents in some areas of the Cariboo and Chilcotin to be on alert for flooding. (Tate Patton photo)

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

Heavy rainfall has caused rivers to surge across much of B.C., washing out roads and putting many communities on alert.

The River Forecast Centre has issued flood warnings, its highest alert, for the areas around the upper Fraser River and Quesnel River, including an area near Prince George.

It says significant rainfall has fallen across the Interior and the northeast, with more “unsettled” weather in the long-term forecast.

Rapidly rising river levels in headwater areas were expected to continue, with larger rivers rising into the weekend.

Flood watches were also in place for the Peace region, Chilcotin River and its tributaries, the Fraser mainstem from Prince George to Boston Bar, and the middle Fraser and its tributaries, including in the areas around Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

The River Forecast Centre says larger river systems in the Thompson region reached up to 10-year and 20-year flows last weekend due to snowmelt and rainfall. Since then, most flows have dropped but were rising again and a flood watch remained in place for the Thompson River, including the area near Kamloops.

Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for the Peace River, Fort Nelson and the area of Muncho Lake Park and Stone Mountain Park.

An additional 20 to 40 millimetres of rain was expected to fall Friday over those regions, it says.

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain and 40 to 80 millimetres have already fallen there since Wednesday morning.

After a brief break in Thursday afternoon, widespread showers redeveloped overnight and were expected to continue into Saturday until the low pressure system weakened, Environment Canada says.

It says heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads, and warns of possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.

DriveBC says the Trans Canada Highway was closed in both directions near Revelstoke, while mudslides and washouts have closed several other roads including the Heritage Highway 68 kilometres north of Tumbler Ridge and North Bonaparte Road near 70 Mile House.

Many inland ferries were also out of service due to high water, including the Lytton ferry and Big Bar Reaction ferry.

The B.C. government issued a statement early Thursday evening that says in addition to the areas subject to flood warnings and watches, there were high lake level conditions and high streamflows throughout much of the province.

“Water levels rising in these areas are high and very fast moving, so people need to take extra caution right now and be prepared,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

“I want to stress that any sort of recreation on these waters is highly dangerous right now, so let’s make sure we’re not taking any unnecessary risks.”

Communities should be prepared for possible evacuation orders and alerts, it says.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC Flood

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nicole Charlwood represents the Green Party in the campaign for Nelson-Creston. Photo submitted
Nicole Charlwood represents the Green Party in the campaign for Nelson-Creston. Photo submitted
Election 2020: Nicole Charlwood

The first of four interviews with the Nelson-Creston candidates

Ski touring operators are changing how they plan to operate due to the pandemic. Photo: Curtis Cunningham photo
With winter looming, West Kootenay ski tour operators say they’ve adapted

COVID-19 has meant businesses are changing how the upcoming season will run

The crash caused a pole to be dragged down across the highway. File photo
The crash caused a pole to be dragged down across the highway. File photo
RCMP looking for driver who walked away from accident on Highway 3A

The crash dragged down a power pole across the highway

Rob Louie has formed a non-profit organization he says will assist band members in legal disputes with their councils. Photo: Submitted
UPDATED: Indigenous legal organization created to help band members keep councils accountable

Rob Louie has created Band Members Alliance and Advocacy Association of Canada

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

Most Read