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)

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

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Bay tennis player Grace Haugen takes part in an exhibition at the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club in 2019, which also included Canadian legends Frank Dancevic and Daniel Nestor. Haugen has committed to further her career at the University of Montana starting next fall. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Bay tennis player prepares for next step in her journey

Grace Haugen commits to University of Montana

Police and fire crews at work at a fire scene at Mount Prevost School (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Classes cancelled for Mount Prevost students today

Second school fire in five days for North Cowichan schools

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Nursing staff at West Coast General Hospital celebrate the announcement of a $6.25-million expansion of the emergency department that will start in March 2021. (File photo)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read