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Flood risk upgraded across Kootenays as snowmelt continues

BC River Forecast Centre warning of forecasted precipitation, increased snowmelt from high temps
A high streamflow advisory remain in effect as the Regional District of East Kootenay continues to monitor local waterways. Photo courtesy Scott Tibballs.

The Kootenay and Boundary regions have been upgraded to a flood watch, as high temperatures and forecasted precipitation over the next few days are expected to potentially create significant flood hazards in the southeast corner of the province.

The flood watch specifically singles out the Kettle River, Granby River, Moyie River, Salmo River and similar rivers and tributaries across the region.

While forecasted precipitation amounts may vary across the region, estimates have it up to 30-60 millimetres.

“On-going rises in rivers are expected across the region due to hot temperatures this week, with increasing potential for flood hazard in other rivers over the coming days,” reads a bulletin from the River Forecast Centre. “The potential for heavier precipitation on Friday and Saturday could lead to a period of significant flood hazard through the region late this week.”

Snowmelt in the mid-elevation has been rapid over the last few days, while snowpack ripening is being observed at upper elevations, according to the bulletin.

River flows from accelerated snowmelt could reach the two-year to 10-year range, while additional rises could be possible on the weekend, pending the precipitation impacts.

Elsewhere in the province, flooding has already occurred in places like Cache Creek, where at least five properties are under evacuation order, as of Wednesday, May 3. High flows from the Whiteman Creek has also prompted evacuation orders from the Okanagan Indian Band for residents along Whiteman’s Creek.

Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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