Keep river levels in mind

Expected heat likely to boost flood risk across Southern Interior

Former Environment Minister Barry Penner (centre) surveys Fraser Valley flood damage several years ago.

Former Environment Minister Barry Penner (centre) surveys Fraser Valley flood damage several years ago.

As is often the case each spring there are concerns about potential flooding in regions across B.C. That is what we’re currently being warned about in this part of the province.

The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory for small and medium‐sizedrivers in the South Interior including:

• West and East Kootenay

• Columbia

• Boundary

• Okanagan

• Similkameen

• South Thompson tributaries

Some regions have already been hit by flooding and the number of areas at risk is on the rise along with water levelsInfluencing the situation are relatively high snow volumes in the mountains.

The River Forecast Centre informs, in a May 10 bulletin that “warmer weather earlier this week has seen a transition in mountain snowpacks from accumulating snow to melting snow. Snow melt rates over the past few days have been moderate, and have led to rising trends in most rivers through the region.

“There’s very good reason to expect water levels to rise in all areas given the forecast for hot weather through the weekend and into next week.Temperatures in the mid to high 20s are predicted.

“The rising trend is expected to persist through the weekend and into next week, with peak river levels onsmall to medium‐sized rivers expected to be reached on Monday or Tuesday,” the provincial water watch dog disclosed.  The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates asconditions warrant.