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Rising water closes Perimeter Trail

VIDEO: A special weather statement issued as Bulkley and streams test riverbanks.
Water fills the Perimeter Trail in Smithers near the Riverside Campground. (Contributed photo)

Rising water has forced the closure of part of the Perimeter Trail in Smithers.

The portion that exits into Riverside Campground along the Bulkley River is closed until the water recedes. Signs and barricades are up to warn pedestrians and cyclists of the situation.

The Bulkley River is under a flood watch, and warm temperatures followed by Wednesday’s rain is not helping the situation.

Video from Telkwa:

Special weather statement

Things are precarious enough that Environment Canada issued a special weather statement:

“Maximum temperatures near the 20 degree mark yesterday combined with significant snow melt has resulted in increased water levels in some watersheds over the Central Interior. Localized flooding has been reported and conditions may deteriorate further. Although cooler temperatures are expected today, a system advancing from the Pacific will bring rainfall. Amounts will be heaviest from Quesnel to Fort St James where 10 to 20 mm are possible. Elsewhere from the Bulkley Valley to the southern Cariboo, amounts will be in the range of 5 to 10 mm. Furthermore, the airmass will become unstable this afternoon and local thunderstorms could give additional potential for up to 10 mm resulting in increased potential for flooding.

“Quickly flowing water and the adjacent riverbanks are potentially unsafe. Don’t approach washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.”

The Town of Smithers has also sent out a warning to people asking them to refrain from recreating on or near the Bulkley River and other bodies of water, stay off riverbanks and exercise extreme caution as fast moving water can be extremely dangerous. The public is also reminded in the statement to refrain from travelling through areas affected by flooding.

Residents who live in an area that may be subject to flooding are strongly urged to take the following steps:

    • Prepare an emergency kit for each family member with enough supplies for up to one week.
    • Move items that can be damaged by flood waters to higher ground.
    • Relocate hazardous materials, such as cleaners and pesticides, to higher ground to prevent water contamination.
    • Unplug and disconnect any electrical items that may be at-risk.
    • Gather important papers in water-tight containers and keep a record of valuables in a safe place.
    • Make arrangements for pets and livestock to be moved to safe location.

If flooding occurs, situation updates will be posted on the Town of Smithers website . Town residents are also asked to contact the Town of Smithers office 250-847-1600 for information regarding potential flooding.

Residents living in the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako are advised to contact the Regional District office in Burns Lake at 1-800-320-3339.