Skip to main content

Residents and workers for the City of Fernie, B.C., fill sandbags in preparation for flooding along the Elk River, where heavy rain and spring snow melt threaten to push the river over its banks.The Canadian Press

A flood watch has been issued for the south Thompson River in British Columbia, where a forecast calling for long-lasting rain means swollen waterways could overflow and cause flooding in some areas.

The River Forecast Centre says rainfall beginning late Tuesday to Wednesday is a major concern for the headwaters of the north and south Thompson rivers and the Cariboo mountains.

It says widespread heavy rainfall would have rivers reaching their highest levels of the season, possibly causing significant flooding.

The centre says water levels in the north Thompson River at McLure are receding slowly but modelling predicts they could reach high levels later this week, and that’s also the case for the Shuswap River near Enderby.

Water levels in the Quesnel River at Likely have been rising slowly, and the centre says higher flows would depend on the amount of rainfall this week.

It is maintaining a flood watch for areas of the Shuswap region while a high streamflow advisory remains in place for the Thompson River from Kamloops to Spences Bridge and the Nicola River, meaning minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

“The public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period,” the centre says in a written statement.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.