Brace for Heavy Rain in Bulkley Valley/Lakes District -- High Streamflow Advisory Issued

5/11/2017

Residents of the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District are being warned to brace for a lot of rain.

Environment Canada has issued a Rainfall Warning for the region, and the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District responded by issuing a High Stream Flow Advisory for the Bulkley River and its tributaries in the Houston, Telkwa and Smithers areas.

Environment Canada meteorologist Jennifer Hay says a moist and unstable flow of air will stream into the Bulkley Valley from the south beginning this afternoon, generating heavy showers and thunderstorms.

"The northern Bulkley Valley, we have a rainfall warning in effect, so we're looking at up to 50 millimetres of rain by Friday evening, so two-day total; in the southern Bulkley Valley, including Burns Lake, we have that same rainfall warning but we also in addition have a severe thunderstorm watch in effect right now," she said.

This weather situation combined with spring snow melt will lead to rising river levels and may increase the risk of flooding.

Quickly flowing water and the adjacent river banks are potentially unsafe.

Don't approach washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts, and keep away from creek and river banks.

In addition, a severe thunderstorm watch has also been issued for the Lakes District, and Hay says that could be upgraded.

"There's a cold front crossing the province today -- we could have some instability and thunderstorms and heavy downpours with that, where the severe thunderstorm watch is in effect -- if it becomes necessary, we'll issue a warning for that."

The Regional Distrct warns that it's difficult to predict if flooding and bank erosion will occur, and people are advised not to recreate on or near the Bulkley River -- including small streams and tributaries.

You can find more information on the BC River Forecast Centre website.    (http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca)