Flood Watch Issued for Bulkley River

River levels are once again on the rise in much of the province -- including the Bulkley Valley.

The River Forecast Centre has issued a Flood Watch for the Bulkley River and its tributaries around Houston, Smithers and adjacent areas.

It has also issued a High Streamflow Advisory for the Nechako and Nautley Rivers and tributaries, in the Burns Lake, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof areas.  

In other parts of the province, the Centre has upgraded flood watches and high streamflow advisories for several waterways, including Mission Creek near Kelowna, the Similkameen River in the southern Interior, and the West Kettle and Granby rivers and their tributaries in the Boundary region.

Flood warnings are also maintained for the Nazko and West Road rivers in the Cariboo region west of Quesnel where about 120 properties have been on evacuation order for more than a week.
Flood watches remain posted across the central Interior for the Bonaparte River, Baker Creek, Nicola River, Guichon Creek, Coldwater River and tributaries around Cache Creek, Merritt, Williams Lake, and Quesnel.
Highway 8 west of Merritt has been closed by flooding at 10 Mile Bridge and highway officials say the water continues to rise at that location.
Emergency-Info-BC, the online service that is active during provincial emergencies, says evacuation orders or alerts are in place in six regional districts and for one Merritt-area First Nation.


=== RIVER FORECAST CENTRE BULLETINS:  http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/advisories/flood_021.htm ===

Flood Warning – Nazko – West Road River
Flood Watch – South Interior (NEW) Boundary (NEW) Bulkley River (NEW) Central Interior  
High Streamflow Advisory – Nechako (NEW), Kootenay, Peace, Prince George area
ISSUED: 1000h May 7th, 2018

River Forecast Centre is UPGRADING to a Flood Watch for:

  • South Interior – including Mission Creek, Similkameen River, River and surrounding tributaries
  • Boundary – including West Kettle River, Granby and surrounding tributaries
  • Bulkley River – including tributaries around Houston, Smithers and adjacent areas including Burns Lake

River Forecast Centre is ISSUING a High Streamflow Advisory for:

  • Nechako River – including Vanderhoof, Nautley River and tributaries in the Burns Lake, Fraser Lake and surrounding area

The following Flood Warnings, Watches and Advisories are MAINTAINED as of Monday 1000hr:

  • Flood Warning - Nazko River and West Road River
  • Flood Watch - Central Interior including the Bonaparte River, Baker Creek, Nicola River, Guichon Creek, Coldwater RIver and tributary rivers around Cache Creek, Merritt, Williams Lake, Quesnel and surrounding areas
  • High Streamflow Advisory –Kootenay, Peace, Prince George area

Snowmelt rates rose over the weekend with steadily increasing temperatures High streamflow is being observed in many river systems across the BC Interior.
These areas include:

  • Okanagan - including tributaries in the Oliver, Osoyoos, Summerland, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and surrounding areas
  • Central Interior – including the Nicola River, Coldwater River, Guichon Creek, Bonaparte River and surrounding tributaries
  • Similkameen - including the Tulameen and tributaries
  • Boundary - including the West Kettle River, Kettle River, Granby River and surrounding tributaries
  • Kootenay - including the Moyie River and mid-elevation tributaries in the Castlegar, Trail, Salmo, Creston, Cranbrook and surrounding areas
  • Peace – including tributary rivers draining plateau areas around Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and surrounding areas
  • Bulkley – including Buck Creek and other areas around Houston and Smithers
  • Prince George area – including the Salmon River, Mud River, Chilako River and surrounding areas
  • Nechako – including tributary flows in the Nautley River and flows through Vanderhoof to Prince George

Temperatures are expected to continue to rise or remain high on Monday and Tuesday. Rivers that experienced rises over the weekend are expected to continue that steady rise for the next two days. On Wednesday, a low pressure trough is expected to swing into British Columbia, bringing cooler temperatures but more organized rainfall. Present weather forecasting from Environment and Climate Change Canada is indicating the potential for 15-30mm of rain through much of the southern third of the province, and less amounts through other areas.

Current hydrologic modelling from the River Forecast Centre is indicating the potential for extremely high flows later this week. The magnitude of forecasted flows higher than is realistic, however the potential for flows in the 10-20 year range, or higher, in many of the noted rivers is likely. These include areas under a Flood Watch. In areas under High Streamflow Advisory, flows are currently forecast to remain below a 10-year level. Given current river levels and weather outlook, this week could see significant flooding in many areas.

The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and update this advisory as conditions warrant.