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Flood watch issued for upper Fraser River amid sweltering B.C. heat

Click to play video: 'Evacuation order issued for parts of Pemberton Valley amid rising floodwaters' Evacuation order issued for parts of Pemberton Valley amid rising floodwaters
The Squamish Lillooet Regional District has issued evacuation orders for multiple properties in the Pemberton Valley due to rising floodwaters. Grace Ke reports – Jun 27, 2021

As British Columbia bakes under what’s being described as a “dangerous” heat wave, a flood watch has been issued for the upper Fraser Valley.

The BC River Forecast Centre issued the watch at noon Saturday, warning that hot temperatures have triggered “significant amounts of snowmelt at higher elevations.”

Read more: Evacuation order issued for parts of Pemberton Valley amid rising floodwaters

Weather stations at high elevations recorded maximum temperatures of between 24 C and 32 C, resulting in snowmelt of between 55 mm and 85 mm, the forecast centre said.

“The current forecast at McBride has the following maximum temperatures, Sunday: 36 C, Monday: 39 C, Tuesday: 40 C, Wednesday: 38 C,” the centre said.

Click to play video: 'Increased concern for drought and wildfires in B.C. this summer and climate change is playing a role' Increased concern for drought and wildfires in B.C. this summer and climate change is playing a role
Increased concern for drought and wildfires in B.C. this summer and climate change is playing a role – Jun 3, 2021

“These high temperatures will increase the snowmelt, which will cause river levels to continue to rise in the coming days.”

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Elevated river flow rates have been recorded on the Fraser River and its tributaries, including the Dore River near McBride, McKale River, near the 940-metre contour, and Morkill River below Hellroaring Creek.

Read more: Heat wave: As B.C. bakes, what role does climate change play?

It comes as multiple properties in the Pemberton Valley were put under an evacuation order due to rising river levels in that region.

The public is being warned to stay away from fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable river banks.

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