As warming weather causes snowmelt and rising waters, the River Forecast Centre has issued high streamflow advisories covering the Central Okanagan and other parts of the southern Interior.
A visual inspection of Mission and Mill Creeks in Kelowna shows they have risen and they are flowing quickly. Advisories have also been issued for the Similkameen River, the Okanagan River and its tributaries around Osoyoos, Penticton and Vernon, as well as the Salmon River near Salmon Arm. The forecast centre says current modelling indicates the potential for high flows and possible flood conditions over the weekend, with some uncertainty about how much rain will fall.
Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Central Okanagan today and is forecasting heavy showers with 5mm of rain expected. Saturday’s forecast calls for showers with up to 4mm of precipitation, while Sunday’s outlook includes showers and 5 to 10mm of precipitation.
The latest advisories cover the Nicola River near Spences Bridge and the Coldwater River at Merritt, two communities affected by widespread flooding last fall. In northern B.C. there is a flood watch for the Bulkley River near Smithers, while advisories remain in place for the Stikine, Skeena and Liard rivers and tributaries with waters expected to rise this weekend.
The forecast prompted the B.C. government to issue a statement encouraging residents to prepare for possible flooding.
With files from The Canadian Press
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