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HomeNewsPotential is there for flooding in the North Cariboo this year

Potential is there for flooding in the North Cariboo this year

A hydrologist with the BC River Forecast Centre says there is definitely a risk of flooding this year in the Quesnel area.

Jonathan Boyd says the snowpack numbers continued to go up last month and are now well above normal…

“All of the Caribou Mountain sites that eventually flow through the Quesnel River and the snowpack there is at 123 percent of normal, so it is significantly higher than 99 percent that was getting mapped. Even within that region we have an automated snow weather station called Yanks Peak east that has 23 years of records and this year is actually the highest ever recorded.”

Boyd says the upper Fraser, east of Prince George, is now at 135 percent of normal as well…

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“And that’s a major increase, so the expectation is that of course Prince George may be at risk for flooding but then it’s the entire Fraser River downstream from that as well, so any folks who may live near the river there will of course be risks associated there, so that’s a little bit more focused on the region around Quesnel as opposed to Williams Lake.”

Boyd says the snowpacks could go even higher as more precipitation is expected over the next week.

He also says, however, that the snowpack is just one of the ingredients needed for flooding…

“The next is that the springtime conditions, so from now through to maybe the end of April, stay cool and wet so that there is more snow accumulation followed by very warm weather for an extended period of time, anywhere from 5 to 10 days, and then the worst case scenario is to add heavy widespread rain after that.”

Boyd says the weather can also help though.

He says 1999 was one of the highest years of snow ever recorded but there was no flooding because it never really got hot in late April or early May.

The next update on the snowpacks will be released on April 8th

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