Water levels at Cedar Point Park near Likely continue to be high, as seen here Friday, June 26, and more rainfall is in the forecast through to Thursday, July 2. The Cariboo Regional District is advising residents in some areas of the Cariboo and Chilcotin to be on alert for flooding. (Tate Patton photo)

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

Heavy rainfall has caused rivers to surge across much of B.C., washing out roads and putting many communities on alert.

The River Forecast Centre has issued flood warnings, its highest alert, for the areas around the upper Fraser River and Quesnel River, including an area near Prince George.

It says significant rainfall has fallen across the Interior and the northeast, with more “unsettled” weather in the long-term forecast.

Rapidly rising river levels in headwater areas were expected to continue, with larger rivers rising into the weekend.

Flood watches were also in place for the Peace region, Chilcotin River and its tributaries, the Fraser mainstem from Prince George to Boston Bar, and the middle Fraser and its tributaries, including in the areas around Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

The River Forecast Centre says larger river systems in the Thompson region reached up to 10-year and 20-year flows last weekend due to snowmelt and rainfall. Since then, most flows have dropped but were rising again and a flood watch remained in place for the Thompson River, including the area near Kamloops.

Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for the Peace River, Fort Nelson and the area of Muncho Lake Park and Stone Mountain Park.

An additional 20 to 40 millimetres of rain was expected to fall Friday over those regions, it says.

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain and 40 to 80 millimetres have already fallen there since Wednesday morning.

After a brief break in Thursday afternoon, widespread showers redeveloped overnight and were expected to continue into Saturday until the low pressure system weakened, Environment Canada says.

It says heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads, and warns of possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.

DriveBC says the Trans Canada Highway was closed in both directions near Revelstoke, while mudslides and washouts have closed several other roads including the Heritage Highway 68 kilometres north of Tumbler Ridge and North Bonaparte Road near 70 Mile House.

Many inland ferries were also out of service due to high water, including the Lytton ferry and Big Bar Reaction ferry.

The B.C. government issued a statement early Thursday evening that says in addition to the areas subject to flood warnings and watches, there were high lake level conditions and high streamflows throughout much of the province.

“Water levels rising in these areas are high and very fast moving, so people need to take extra caution right now and be prepared,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

“I want to stress that any sort of recreation on these waters is highly dangerous right now, so let’s make sure we’re not taking any unnecessary risks.”

Communities should be prepared for possible evacuation orders and alerts, it says.

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BC Flood

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

New collective debuts with Crescent Beach show

Nela Hallwas and Lyn Verra-Lay team for ‘Flow’

‘Lifting Hands’ mural on White Rock wall celebrates community’s COVID efforts

High school students, grads inviting health-care workers, emergency crews to add handprints

Former students’ mural showcasing Delta elementary school’s new logo on hold, for now

Ashriya and Karam Purewal painted the spirit logo last spring; formal logo mural delayed due to COVID

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read