Flood Warnings and Advisories

Northeast Region – Flood Watch – Upper Fraser River (MAINTAINED), Quesnel River (MAINTAINED) - High Streamflow Advisory - Chilcotin (MAINTAINED)
ISSUED: 5:30PM June 28, 2020

The River Forecast Centre is maintaining a Flood Watch for:

  • Upper Fraser River including tributaries and the mainstem at Prince George and upstream
  • Quesnel River

The River Forecast Centre is maintaining a High Streamflow Advisory for:

  • Chilcotin River and tributaries, including Big Creek, Chilko River

Warm weather last week followed by moderate to heavy rainfall in some locations of the Upper Fraser River and Quesnel region created large flows. Smaller systems like the Dore River and McKale River rose rapidly to 50-year flow levels on Tuesday and have since receded to normal flow conditions. The response on the larger system of the Fraser River was slightly delayed. The Fraser River at McBride and Red Pass peaked on Thursday, whereas stations at Hansard, Shelley and South Fort George peaked on Friday. The Quesnel River reached its highest level on Saturday and remains very high.

The Chilcotin River and other tributaries have been rising over the past week and are currently between 1-year and 2-year flows.
Most recent observations are:

  • Fraser River at Red Pass (08KA007) peaked on Thursday morning at approximately 360 m3/s (between a 20-year and 50-year flow). Flows have receded slowly and are flowing at 296 m3/s
  • Fraser River at McBride (08KA005) peaked on Thursday at 1230 m3/s (between 20-year and 50-year flow) and almost reached a similar peak on Saturday. Flows are receding and are currently at 1080 m3/s
  • Fraser River at Hansard (08KA004) peaked on Friday at 2670 m3/s (between 10-year and 20-year flow).  Flows are slowly receding and are currently at 2560 m3/s
  • Fraser River at Shelley (08KB001) peaked at 4000 m3/s (between 5-year and 10-year flow) on Friday. Flows are receding and are currently at 3750 m3/s
  • Fraser River at South Fort George (08KE018) peaked at 9.304 m on Friday.  The water level is dropping and is at 9.101 m
  • Quesnel River near Quesnel (08KH006) peaked on Saturday at approximately 1070m3/s (20-year flow) and has remained nearly level
  • Chilcotin River near Hanceville (08MB012) is flowing at 290 m3/s (2-year flow)

Additional precipitation of 5 to 25 mm occurred at stations in the headwaters of the Upper Fraser and McGregor over the past 48-hours.  Temperatures were much cooler over that period compared to a week ago and additional contributions from snowmelt was muted.  Flows in the larger systems of the Upper Fraser River and Quesnel River are expected to begin to recede over the upcoming days.  However, since the flows are very high relative to normal, the river is susceptible to additional rainfall events in the upcoming weeks.  The upcoming weather forecast remains relatively unstable.

The Chilcotin River and tributaries rose modestly over the past week to between 1-year and 2-year flows.  Light precipitation over the weekend had minimal impact on flows for the region.  Flows are relatively high for this time of year and remain vulnerable if heavy rainfall occurs.

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 situation and provides updates as conditions warrant.

Contact for Media Relations, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development:
Tel: 250-213-8172

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.

Links:

  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