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New flood watch, high stream advisories, evacuation alerts as rains swell B.C. rivers

‘Sharp rises’ in Nechako River system water levels near Vanderhoof and west of Prince George
A Canadian Pacific freight train travels above the Thompson River near Lytton, B.C., on August 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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.

The River Forecast Centre has 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.

High streamflows are also expected later this week along the Fraser River, and Emergency Information BC says evacuation alerts are posted for numerous Fraser Valley properties including some in Langley, Fort Langley, Abbotsford and in Harrison Mills just east of Chilliwack.

A statement from the Township of Langley says its evacuation alerts come as the Fraser has exceeded 5.5 metres at a key measurement point, and the River Forecast Centre is calling for levels above six metres by Friday, predicting rainfall runoff from upstream will add to the rising flows for at least the next week.

—The Canadian Press

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