Grand Forks is one of several communities across the province to face flooding issues this spring. Photo: Contributed

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

The flood risk may be diminishing across the Thompson-Okanagan region but the wildfire season has already established its presence.

Wildfires broke out this week within the Kamloops Fire Region. The largest is the Allie Lake wildfire northwest of Kamloops burning an estimated 60 hectares and currently classified as out of control.

The evacuation order has been issued for the second fire near Xusum Creek, west of Lillooet, which is about 25 hectares in size.

Dave Campbell, head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre, said the upper elevation snowpack continues to rapidly melt, at a rate of 30 to 50 millimetres a day, which is downgrading flooding concerns for the Fraser, North Thompson and South Thompson rivers.

“We expect to see rises in both the North and South Thompson Rivers this weekend probably at about 30 centimetres above current levels. We got to similar levels last year and about a half-metre lower than what we saw in the 2012 flood year,” Campbell said.

He said the North Thompson will likely peak this weekend, the South Thompson a week to 10 days later.

Related: Rain, snowmelt pose flood concerns across B.C.

Campbell said the Kootenays remains a concern because of the remaining high elevation snowmelt feeding into the Slocan River, while the Shuswap River high flows are likely to impact Shuswap Lake and Mabel Lake, and potential impact on areas between Enderby and Lumby.

For the Okanagan Lake system, the dam release outflow and freshet inflow are expected to begin matching up within the next 10 days, said Sean Reimer, section head for public safety and protection with the provincial ministry of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development.

Related: Unseasonable heat melts snowpack

“What we saw as a rising rate of three centimetres a day for Okanagan Lake has dropped back to two centimetres and current projections is to continue to see a reduction in how fast the lake is rising up,” Reimer said.

He said Okanagan Lake currently sits at 342.63 metres, about 15 cms over full pool.

“The one caveat there is we are still vulnerable to any significant rain in the next week to 10 days and we still have to work our way through June and the potential wet weather that could come there,” he added.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six people now mulling a mayoral bid in Kelowna this October

Five challengers and incumbent Colin Basran have picked up election packages for Oct. 20 civic vote

UPDATE: Crews still working to contain the wildfire north of Okanagan Connector

Update: Aug. 15 9:23 p.m. The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire, which was sparked… Continue reading

New urban winery approved by West Kelowna Council

The new winery will be located in the industrial area

Central Okanagan firefighters are battling wildfires across B.C.

Lake Country, Kelowna and Peachland crews are assisting the BC Wildfire Service

Short-term rentals could be allowed in Lake Country by next week

A bylaw for short-term rentals will be up for adoption during Tuesday’s council meeting

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

Most Read