Recent heavy rains across British Columbia’s central and southern Interior are swelling river levels in many areas, prompting a renewed flood watch and more high streamflow advisories.
Due to rapid snowmelt and rainfall, high streamflows are also expected later this week along the Fraser River, and evacuation alerts have already been issued in several parts of the Lower Mainland, including handfuls of properties in Langley, Abbotsford, Fort Langley and Harrison Mills, west of Agassiz.
On Wednesday, the Fraser Valley Regional District added properties along Jones Creek, Wahleach Creek and Lorenzetta Creek in Laidlaw to its list. High water levels in the Fraser River may back up in creek channels causing overland flooding, it warned.
The current freshet advisory for all other areas of Laidlaw remains active it adds.
The FVRD issued a second evacuation alert Wednesday for un-diked areas in Nicomen Island, North Nicomen and Taylor Road near Chilliwack, as the Fraser River neared 1.5 metres near North Nicomen. More than 25 residences in Deroche and Dewdney are impacted and a full list, as well as maps, are available on the district’s website.
Sandbags remain available at the Morris Valley and Chehalis Forest Service roads in Harrison Mills, the North Fraser Fire Hall in Dewdney, and at Laidlaw and Hunter Creek roads in Laidlaw.
Alerts remain in effect for dozens of properties in the Glen Valley areas of Abbotsford and Langley, 40 properties in Harrison Mills and select homes in Northwest Langley and Fort Langley.
A statement from the Township of Langley said its evacuation alerts came as the Fraser exceeded 5.5 metres at a key measurement point, and the River Forecast Centre called for levels above six metres by Friday, predicting rainfall runoff from upstream will add to the rising flows for at least the next week.
Residents under evacuation alerts are asked to prepare for an evacuation order by designating an emergency meeting area, packing up essential items, arranging transportation and accommodation, and packing a bag with essential items, such as medication and documents.
Meanwhile, the River Forecast Centre has also upgraded the Nechako River system to a flood watch as up to 40 millimetres of rain fell over central B.C. since Tuesday, causing what the centre says are “sharp rises” in water levels near Vanderhoof and west of Prince George.
High streamflow advisories have also been issued for waterways through the Chilcotin region west of Williams Lake and for the upper Columbia River north of Golden where levels are expected to reach a five-year return by Thursday.
The centre is maintaining a flood warning for the Quesnel River east of Williams Lake and flood watches for the Thompson and South Thompson rivers, including Shuswap Lake, as it monitors the effect of the rain in those regions.
With files from The Canadian Press