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Flood warnings have been issued for a wide area of central British Columbia and the River Forecast Centre warns river levels will continue to rise through Wednesday.

Warnings now cover the Cariboo and Chilcotin regions, including rivers and streams around Williams Lake, Quesnel, Alexis Creek, Anahim Lake and Cache Creek.

The warnings were issued Monday for the Nazko and West Road rivers west of Quesnel.

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The River Forecast Centre says recent warm temperatures have increased the rate of snowmelt, but because the ground is still frozen much of the water is running overland, increasing the flood risk.

Cache Creek has been placed under a state of local emergency as about 50 people were ordered to evacuate.

Village Councillor Wendy Coomber says Cache Creek has been rising rapidly since Saturday and it’s expected to peak Tuesday night.

She says COVID-19 has made the evacuations complicated by limiting accommodations and access to food.

Chris Keam, communications manager for the Cariboo Regional District, says they’ve had reports of high water levels on properties around Nazko, 150 Mile House and the 70 Mile area.

The forecast centre says several of the waterways covered by the flood warnings are flowing at rates seen only every 20 years.

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