Flood watches issues for Pouce Coupe River, Moffat Creek in B.C. Interior

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British Columbia’s River Forecast Centre has issues flood watches for two waterways as well as several high streamflow advisories.

Both the Pouce Coupe River in the Peace Region and Moffat Creek in the Cariboo Region are under flood watches, meaning water levels are rising and may top their banks.

The agency has placed low to mid-elevation watersheds in the Middle Fraser/Cariboo Region, along with creeks and rivers in the Peace Region and Northeast B.C. under high streamflow advisories.

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Those advisories warn of rising water levels with potential minor flooding in low-lying areas.

In the Peace Region, the forecast centre said rainfall in the Fort St. John and Dawson Creek areas along with rapid snowmelt has contributed to swollen waterways. More rain is expected throughout the weekend.

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In the Cariboo, a move from unusually chilly weather to more seasonal temperatures has accelerated snowmelt, it said.

“This melt, combined with scattered precipitation that has fallen in recent days, has resulted in a rise within especially smaller watersheds at these low to mid elevations,” the centre said in a flood watch issued Sunday.

The advisory does not include larger systems with more watershed at higher elevations, it said, where snowpack has only begun to melt. The Quesnel River is not included in the advisory.

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Province-wide, the agency says that cooler weather has both reduced snow melt and added new snow to B.C.’s mountains, which could elevate the overall flood hazard this spring.

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The peak period for high flows is expected to occur from mid-May to June.

The forecast centre is slated to deliver its next survey of B.C. snowpacks on Tuesday, which could paint a better picture of the flood risk to come.

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