Sandbags and support throughout the region is available as the BC River Forecast Centre has upgraded a high streamflow advisory to a flood watch for the Central Interior including the Nazko River, West Road River, Bonaparte River, and tributary rivers around Cache Creek, Merritt, Williams Lake, Quesnel and surrounding areas.
A flood watch according to the Centre means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.
“Very high flows are being observed or forecasted at gauged river locations in the Cariboo,” said the Centre.
“At the West Road River near Cinema flows are estimated to be in the 10-year flow and rising. On the Bonaparte River below Cache Creek flows are at the 2-year flow and rising. Current hydrologic modelling is indicating the potential for flows to exceed 20-year return period flows on these rivers over the weekend or into next week.”
“These are also rivers that experienced extensive forest fires within their watersheds in 2017, and this is expected to increase the likelihood of flooding.”
The Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) said it is actively coordinating and monitoring flooding issues throughout the region in support of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“The CRD’s EOC is providing sandbags to residents as needed,” said Emily Epp.
“However, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to undertake temporary and permanent flood protection works to protect their home and property.”
The EOC will remain active throughout the weekend from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you are experiencing flooding issues that affect your home or business, please contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.
Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders or other emergency updates: member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup