All Eyes on Weather As Bulkley River Rises

The BC River Forecast Centre continues to keep a sharp eye on the weather forecast as it maintains a Flood Watch for the Bulkley River and its tributaries in the  Houston and Smithers areas.

As well, a High Streamflow Advisory is in place for the Nautley River and tributaries around Burns Lake and Fraser Lake.

David Campbell, who heads up the River Forecast Centre, says the warmer weather we've had the last couple of days has accelerated the melting of the snowpack on area mountains, causing rivers and streams to rise.

The forecast calls for rain tomorrow -- and Campbell says the amount of rain could determine whether or not the river spill its banks.  
"Right now the rainfall amounts are in the 5-to-15 millimetre range, which on top of the heavy melt we're seeing is enough that it will just push things up there, so if that 15 turns into 20 or 25, then I think it's going to be a much more significant event, and if it tapers off and we only get 5, then it might not be so bad," he explained.

Campbell says the potential for flows in the 10-to-20 year range or even higher is likely.

He says the recent warm weather has melted about a third of the mid-elevation snowpack -- and that trend is likely continue as the weather warms up again following tomorrow's rain.

Officials are warning people to refrain from recreating on or near the Bulkley River and other bodies of water, stay off riverbanks and exercise extreme caution as fast moving water can be extremely dangerous.