Flood Warning Now in Place For Bulkley River in Houston, Smithers
The River Forecast Centre has now upgraded the Flood Watch for the Bulkley River to a Flood WARNING -- meaning flooding is now occurring in the Houston and Smithers areas.
The town of Smithers is once again warning people to keep away from the riverbank.
Fire Chief Keith Stecko says the banks are subject to rapid erosion by the fast-flowing water.
"The river is quite aggressive right now; public safety is our number one concern and we want to make sure that our residents remain well clear of the river; there is some flooding in some of the low-lying areas of Smithers, some light flooding around the end of Main Street -- Riverside area; we have deployed sandbags and sand for the residents that have requested that, the Fall Fair grounds have been closed as of today at 11am; we have localized flooding there as well," he said.
River levels are also very high in Houston, and still rising.
The River Forecast Centre says the river is at a 20-year flow right now in both Houston and Smithers and is continuing to rise.
The Center says the rate of the rise has been easing a bit in the Smithers area, but is likely to continue as the weather warms up this weekend.
Additional rises of between five and 10 centimetres can be expected today.
A Flood Watch is now in place for the Nautley and Nechako Rivers and their tributaries in the Burns Lake, Francois Lake and Vanderhoof areas.
=== RIVER FORECAST CENTRE OFFICIAL POST ===
Flood Warning – Bulkley River (UPGRADED)
Flood Watch – Nautley River (UPGRADED), Nechako River (UPGRADED), Dean River, Nazko – West Road River
High Streamflow Advisory – Prince George Area
ENDED – High Streamflow Advisory - Peace
ISSUED: 1215h May 10th, 2018
The following Flood Warnings, Watches and Advisories in the North-East and North-West regions are UPGRADED or MAINTAINED as of Thursday 1145hr:
- Flood Warning – Bulkley River (UPGRADED) including tributaries around Houston, Smithers and adjacent areas
- Flood Watch – Nautley River and Nechako River including tributaries and lake levels around Burns Lake, Francois Lake, Vanderhoof and surrounding areas
- Flood Watch – Dean River
- Flood Watch – Nazko and West Road River
- High Streamflow Advisory – Prince George area including the Chilako River, Salmon River and surrounding tributaries
The following Highstreamflow Advisory is ENDED:
- High Streamflow Advisory – Peace
A summary of key rivers includes:
- Bulkley River near Houston (08EE003) is flowing at 270 m3/s (20-year flow) and rising. Continued rises are expected on Thursday and Friday up to 300-350 m3/s
- Bulkley River near Smithers (08EE005) is flowing at 1250 m3/s (20-year flow) and a gauge height of approximately 5.5m. The rate of rise has been easing and additional rises in the 5-10 cm range at the gauge are expected into the middle of Thursday. Warming weather into the weekend may lead to additional rises
- Nautley River near Fort Fraser (08JB003) is flowing at 215 m3/s (approaching a 20-year flow) and rising. Modelling is indicating the potential for on-going rises over the weekend, with the potential to reach 300 m3/s early next week, and further rises next week with a warming weather trend
- Nechako River near Vanderhoof (08JC001) is currently flowing at 513 m3/s (5-year flow), with rises to the 530 m3/s range expected over the weekend
Temperatures are generally expected to rise over the weekend and into next week, and increased snow melt is expected over this period.
The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and update this advisory as conditions warrant.