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Nechako on flood watch as rainfall brings fresh alerts for northern B.C. river systems

Quesnel under flood warning as well
Nechako River has been upgraded to flood watch after yesterday’s rainfall. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

A flood watch advisory has been issued for the Nechako River after 20 to 40 millimetres of fresh rain over the past couple of days.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre upgraded the Nechako River to a flood watch on June 29 after a week of high streamflow advisory. The warning indicates river levels are rising and will approach or exceed bankfull with a possibility of flooding in adjacent areas too. Bankfull refers to the water level stage that just begins to spill out of the channel into the floodplain.

On-going snowmelt runoff in west-central B.C., along with significant amounts of rainfall in the past day has led to slow and steady rising of the Nechako River, the provincial agency said.

This has led to rise in water levels near Vanderhoof and Prince George.

“Current flows in the Nechako River near Vanderhoof (Water Survey of Canada gauge 08JC001) are at 454 m3/s (between a 2-year and 5-year flow) and has risen 6 cm since yesterday. Downstream towards Prince George, the Nechako River at Isle Pierre (08JC002) is flowing above 720 m3/s (nearing a 5-year flow) and rising.”

River Forecast Centre further estimates a rise in water levels near Vanderhoof and Prince George today with flows up to 550 m3/s at the Vanderhoof gauge, or above 800 m3/s at the Isle Pierre gauge being possible by later today or tomorrow.

A high streamflow advisory has been issued for Chilcotin Region including the Chilcotin River, Chilko River and tributaries around the Anahim Lake, after 25 millimetres of fresh rainfall yesterday.

Meanwhile, the centre has maintained a flood warning for Quesnel River and flood watch for Thompson River from Kamloops to Spences Bridge as well as South Thompson River and Shuswap Lake.

A high streamflow advisory is also in place for North Thompson River including tributaries around Barriere, Clearwater, Blue River and Nicola River.

The River Forecast Centre estimates rainfall and potential thundershowers over the region today may further lead to increased runoff into rivers throughout the region.

Public has been advised to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and unstable riverbanks.

READ MORE: Evacuation alerts, flood watch, stream advisories as B.C. braces for rain, snow melt