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Heavy rain in parts of B.C. a concern for flood prone areas: River Forecast Centre

Properties are surrounded by high water after floodwaters began to recede at Everglades Resort on Hatzic Lake near Mission, B.C., on Sun. Dec. 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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.

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Meanwhile, residents and officials in the Shuswap are still monitoring the rising water levels of the Shuswap Lake. The local emergency operations centre is helping with flood preparations, including sandbagging, as the area remains under a flood watch.

As of Sunday morning, the lake had risen 2.3 centimetres bringing it to a total of 348.5 metres. The record of 349.6 metres was set in 1972.

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Water levels in the Quesnel River at Likely have also 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.

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“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.

With files from Global News 

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