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Skeena River upgraded to Flood Watch

Skeena River could potentially reach 20-year return period levels
The Skeena River in Terrace, pictured on June 2 at around 1 p.m. The Skeena River has been upgraded to a Flood Watch, according to the BC River Forecast Centre. (Dan McGuire/Terrace Standard)

The BC River Forecast Centre has upgraded its High Streamflow Advisory for the Skeena River to a Flood Watch.

According to the notice, a Flood Watch means that “river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.”

As of 2 p.m. on June 2, the BC River Forecast Centre reported that automated snow weather stations in the area registered 35-55 millimetres of precipitation over the last 48-hours, significantly increasing the rate of snowmelt.

The most recent water level for the Skeena River at Usk was nearly 10 metres on June 2 at 1 p.m., compared to around six metres on May 25, according to Environment Canada data from Station 08EF001.

Nearly 70 millimetres of snow melted at the 4B16P Shedin Creek station yesterday, the most in the province. Fifty more millimetres have melted today.

According to the Forecast Centre’s report, the Skeena River at Usk is currently flowing at 4,900 cubic metres per second (between 2 and 5‐year flow) and forecast to potentially reach 20‐year return period levels. The Nass River above Shumal Creek is flowing at 3,450 metres cubed per second and is forecast to possibly reach five year return period levels.

The BC River Forecast Centre advises people to stay clear of the rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.

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