Storm sidesteps soggy Okanagan, B.C., but flood threat still looms – CP

by ahnationtalk on May 12, 2017325 Views

Source: The Canadian Press
May 12, 2017

VANCOUVER _ Thunderstorms and heavy rain bypassed British Columbia’s Okanagan region Thursday night, sparing the flood-plagued region from further high water, but emergency officials said the danger has not passed.

The Central Okanagan emergency operations centre said in a news release on Friday that unstable weather would maintain the flood risk.

“It’s pretty dynamic,” said centre spokeswoman Kari O’Rourke.

“We are concerned because of the lake levels, we are at full pool now, and we haven’t hit the peak of our freshet, so that is going to be continually monitored and assessed as we go along,” she said.

A freshet is the significant rise in river levels caused by melting snow, and the River Forecast Centre has estimated snowpacks in the Okanagan region to be as much as 147 per cent above normal, with much of the melt still to come.

The melting snowpack and recent rain caused flooding, washouts and mudslides in many areas of the south and central Interior, forcing evacuations and evacuation alerts.

Officials in the Central Okanagan Regional District said those orders and alerts remain up in their area and the district also published lake level flood watch maps for waterfront areas of Kelowna, West Kelowna and the Westbank First Nation.

The maps show the possibility of flooding over the next week or weeks as swollen rivers empty into Okanagan Lake and other nearby lakes that are already full, the district said.

The River Forecast Centre posted flood watches on waterways from the Boundary region all the way north to the central Interior, Thompson and Shuswap.

The centre’s website says conditions will deteriorate through the day, as rain continues.

Flood watches have also been posted for the Bulkley River in northwestern B.C., and for waterways through the northeastern corner of the province.

Storms packing as much as 60 millimetres of rain are expected over the northwest while Environment Canada says 90 millimetres of rain is forecast in the Peace and Fort Nelson regions, followed by as much as 15 millimetres on Saturday.



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