Flood watch issued for the Bulkley River

Rivers through the Smithers area, including areas around Ebenezer Flats, may reach flood stage by Wednesday or Thursday.

The Bulkley River has experienced rising flows over the past several days due to warmer weather and increased snow melt rates.

The Bulkley River at the Quick Water Survey of Canada gauge is currently flowing at 540 m3/s (2-year return period flow) with a gauge height of 1.90m. The Bulkley River at the gauge near Smithers is flowing at 725 m3/s, with a gauge height of 4.69 m.

The Bulkley River near Smithers has been rising at approximately 20 cm per day.

An upper ridge of high pressure has settled over northern British Columbia, and this is expected to maintain unseasonably warm temperatures over the region throughout the week. Snow melt rates at the Lu Lake snow pillow are high and in the order of 25-30 mm/day. Melt is expected to continue at this rate, or higher, throughout the week.

River levels are expected to continue to rise through the week. Rivers through the Smithers area, including areas around Ebenezer Flats, may reach flood stage by Wednesday or Thursday. Significant additional rises are expected into the weekend.

Local residents are reminded to stay clear of streams during the spring runoff period due to highly saturated and unstable riverbank conditions and swiftly flowing water. Livestock and other possessions of value should be moved to higher terrain if possible.