(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

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Water shutdown to impact Penticton residents near Naramata Road

The city will shut off water for three hours to make improvements to the system

Ryga Arts Festival to include live events

Arts festival in Summerland will feature live and online performances

City of Penticton seeking input of future transportation plans

City planners aim to balance traditional and modern modes of transport in future

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Man allegedly wielding knife at Kelowna Superstore arrested

The 29-year-old Kelowna man has been released on strict conditions for a future court date

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

Most Read