(The Canadian Press)

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Officials are urging people in parts of British Columbia’s interior to be careful around rivers as Environment Canada forecasts heavy rainfall in central and northeastern parts of the province starting Wednesday.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable, said Dave Campbell, head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

Trees and other debris in the water also pose invisible hazards, he noted during a briefing Tuesday.

“The bull’s eye of this rainfall event is largely almost north of Kamloops up through Clearwater, Blue River, Valemount (and) Robson Valley,” said Campbell.

It looks like the Southern Interior will mostly be spared, he said.

While it’s not certain exactly how much rain would fall and where, Environment Canada forecasts it could range from 20 to 40 millimetres through Thursday and beyond.

Current modelling indicates water in the upper Fraser and Thompson rivers could reach levels last seen in 1972, said Campbell.

“Certainly the presence of that scenario and risk of that scenario is really what’s prompting a lot of this early warning,” he said, adding heavy flows could reach the lower Fraser over the weekend.

The centre has posted flood warnings for the upper and middle Fraser River basins, including the Quesnel River, while lower-level flood watches are in place for the Chilcotin and Thompson rivers.

“We do have Kamloops under that flood watch. If the rainfall that is in the forecast right now materializes, I would expect that we would be pushing that up to a flood warning,” said Campbell.

That area could see water levels rise rapidly by one or two metres above current levels, he said.

It’s possible local jurisdictions may issue evacuation alerts and orders, said Stan Bates, executive director of operations for Emergency Management BC.

BC Wildfire crews are on standby to help with flood control efforts if necessary, he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC Flood

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

Just Posted

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

COVID-19 could mean curtains for film and TV extras

Background performers worry they’re being replaced by mannequins on film and TV sets

Most Read