Flood Warnings and Advisories

Flood Watch – Englishman River and Nanaimo River

High Streamflow Advisory – Vancouver Island, South Coast
ISSUED: 12:45 PM January 2, 2021

The River Forecast Centre is upgrading the High Streamflow Advisory to a Flood Watch for:

  • East Vancouver Island from Nanaimo to Fanny Bay including the Englishman River, Nanaimo River and surrounding tributaries
  • The River Forecast Centre is maintaining the High Streamflow Advisory for:

    • West Vancouver Island, Central Vancouver Island, South Vancouver Island and other areas of Eastern Vancouver Island
    • South Coast including tributaries around the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Squamish, Lillooet River, North Shore Mountains, Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and surrounding areas

    The end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 is an active period for storm systems on Vancouver Island and the South Coast. In the past 48-hours, some locations on Vancouver Island have experienced 50-110 mm. In the past 24-hours, upwards of 90 mm has been observed in areas of Eastern Vancouver Island (around Bowser), with heavy rainfall rates throughout the morning.

    Rivers are responding to this rainfall, with rapid rises being observed through Saturday morning. Currently flows across the region remain below 2-year return period flows, but continue to rise. Rivers are forecast to reach their highest flows on later Saturday or overnight into Sunday. In estuary areas on Eastern Vancouver Island, high tides this evening (6-7 pm) may coincide with high flows and add additional challenges.

    There is a possibility that additional storms will arrive early next week; there should be enough of a time gap between storms to see significant river improvements in most rivers on Sunday and early in the week. In lake-fed rivers the prolonged nature of these rainfall events may lead to continued high flows throughout next week.

    The public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.

    The River Forecast Centre continues to monitor the conditions and provides updates as conditions warrant.

    Contact for Media Relations, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
    Tel: 250 356-7506

    Levels of Warnings/Advisories:

    1. High Streamflow Advisory: River levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible. This is the lowest level.
    2. Flood Watch: River levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur. This is the intermediate level.
    3. Flood Warning: River levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result. This is the highest level.


    1. Home of River Forecast Centre
    2. Current Streamflow Conditions and Flood Forecast Modeling
    3. Map of Current Streamflow Return Periods for All WSC Stations
    4. CLEVER Model 10-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
    5. COFFEE Model 5-day Forecasts of Discharges and Return Periods
    6. Back to page of Flood Warnings and Advisories