Flood Warnings and Advisories

Northeast Region – Flood Warning – Upper Fraser River (UPGRADED), Quesnel River (UPGRADED) - Flood Watch – Chilcotin River (UPGRADED), Fraser River mainstem (UPGRADED), High Streamflow Advisory – Middle Fraser (NEW), Peace (NEW), Northeast (NEW)
ISSUED: 3:30PM June 30, 2020

The River Forecast Centre is upgrading to a Flood Warning for:

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

The River Forecast Centre is upgrading to a Flood Watch for:

  • Chilcotin River and tributaries, including Big Creek, Chilko River
  • Fraser River mainstem from Prince George to Boston Bar

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

  • Middle Fraser (all other rivers and creeks not included in Flood Watch or Flood Warning)
  • Peace
  • Northeast

The Upper Fraser East and Quesnel region reached high flows over the past week due to warm weather and moderate to heavy precipitation. Flows are receding slowly.  Another strong storm event is forecast to impact the region from Wednesday through Friday. This storm system is much stronger and more widespread than the rainfall event that occurred last week. Rivers are forecast to increase significantly through the week and into the weekend, beginning when the rainfall arrives.   
The Chilcotin River and other tributaries are currently flowing high between 1-year and 2-year flows.  The upcoming wet weather is expected to impact the region.
Most recent observations are:

  • Fraser River at Red Pass (08KA007) is flowing at 213 m3/s (between a 1-year and 2-year flow)
  • Fraser River at McBride (08KA005) is flowing at 843 m3/s (between a 1-year and 2-year flow)
  • Fraser River at Hansard (08KA004) is flowing at 2200 m3/s (between a 2-year and 5-year flow)
  • Fraser River at Shelley (08KB001) is flowing at 3420 m3/s (between a 2-year and 5-year flow)
  • Fraser River at South Fort George (08KE018) has a water level of 8.86 m (between a 2-year and 5-year flow)
  • Quesnel River near Quesnel (08KH006) is flowing at 985m3/s (10-year flow)
  • Chilcotin River near Hanceville (08MB012) is flowing at 280 m3/s (2-year flow)

Environment and Climate Change Canada is forecasting widespread moderate to heavy rainfall totals through much of the Interior from Wednesday through Friday. Amounts could reach as high as 100 mm for the Northern Rockies, 50-70 mm for the Upper Fraser and Cariboo, and 20-40 for Chilcotin.

Major river systems in the Upper Fraser and Quesnel are forecast to increase dramatically if this level of rainfall occurs. Today’s CLEVER model output is forecasting flows at >100-year return period for the Upper Fraser and Quesnel. A reminder that the CLEVER model is based on results from weather models and has a high range of uncertainty. Instead of fixating on a specific level that CLEVER is forecasting the river to reach, it’s more important to focus on the forecast trend which is showing significant increases from Thursday through the weekend.

The Chilcotin River and tributaries rose modestly over the past week to between 1-year and 2-year flows. Significant precipitation forecast for the region has potential to increase flows.  Current CLEVER model outputs forecast is between 2-year to 20-year flows for rivers in the region.

The Northern Rockies (Peace and Northeast) is expected to increase significantly due to the forecast rainfall. The exact location of impacts will depend on the location and timing of heaviest rainfall over the Wednesday through Friday period.

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.

BC River Forecast Centre

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development

A High Streamflow Advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected.  Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
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.
A Flood Warning means that river levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result. 

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