B.C. is at heightened risk of spring flooding this year, due to an above-normal snowpack.
“The entire province faces risk,” particularly in parts of the Interior and the north, an April 17 Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Emergency Management BC media release noted.
A high-streamflow advisory has been issued for the Cariboo Region, including the San Jose River, Baker Creek, Nazko River, West Road River and tributary river areas including Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George.
“Streamflows in these rivers have observed responses to a hot spell, which has produced significant amounts of snowmelt,” said the River Forecast Centre warning. Most severe floods occur when melting snow and rain combine.
River levels in the Interior are expected to continue rising early next week and peak Tuesday, April 27.
Provincewide, floods can also be a result of storm surges, ice jams or damage to dikes or dams.
B.C. homeowners are urged to follow all directions of local authorities and take steps to prepare for such a possibility – this includes protecting one’s home by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground.
For example, households could clear perimeter drains, eavestroughs and gutters, move electrical appliances to upper floors and anchor fuel supplies. Families are also being asked to assemble grab-and-go bags containing essentials in case of evacuation.
If residing near a waterway, the province warns a change in water colour or water level could indicate a problem upstream.
“Call your local fire, police or public works department immediately if you suspect something out of the ordinary.”
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