(The Canadian Press)

(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

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Communities like Nakusp are grappling with the challenge of hooking high-speed internet up at individual homes. File photo
‘Last mile’ debate a Gordian knot in Slocan Valley’s fibre-optic cable plans

How do you bring high-speed internet not just to communities, but individual homes?

(Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)
Nav Canada says it would never compromise safety at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Submission from Nav Canada regarding potential cuts to the West Kootenay Regional Airport

One of seven kitties rescued from a property east of Grand Forks Friday, Nov. 27. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks women rescue sick kitties from rural property

Kimberly Feeny and Lisa Valenta spent their Friday nursing seven cats rescued east of the city

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Most Read