More B.C. rivers placed on flood watch as waters continue to rise

Willowbrook, B.C. residents are out sandbagging as Kearne Creek's waters are overflowing. Shelby Thom / Global News

As hundreds of people remain out of their homes throughout B.C., experts say there’s potential for “significant flooding” this week in many areas of the province.

The flood watch for several B.C. communities threatened by rising waters has been upgraded leaving the risk of bridge collapses, landslides, properties being flooded and more evacuations.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre upgraded the flood watch for the southern and central Interior, Boundary and Bulkley River areas on Monday.

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A high streamflow advisory, indicating area rivers are expected to rise rapidly, has also been issued for the Nechako, Kootenay, Peace and Prince George areas.

Temperatures are expected to remain high on Monday and Tuesday, meaning rivers that rose over the weekend, are expected to continue a steady rise early this week.

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The forecast is calling for cooler temperatures later in the week but it’s not all good news because the cooler weather is expected to bring significant rainfall with it.

“Present weather forecasting from Environment and Climate Change Canada is indicating the potential for 15-30 millmetres of rain through much of the southern third of the province and less amounts through other areas,” a release issued Monday by the Ministry of Forests and Lands said.

“Current hydrologic modelling from the River Forecast Centre is indicating the potential for extremely high flows later this week.”

READ MORE: Flooding in Okanagan forces more evacuations, school and road closures

This comes after a weekend of warmer weather that increased ongoing snow melt throughout the province.

“The potential for flows in the 10 to 20-year range, or higher, in many of the noted rivers is likely. This includes areas under flood watch,” the release said.

The river forecast centre said flows in areas under a high streamflow advisory are currently forecast to remain below a 10-year level.

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