High Streamflow Advisory For Fraser River (VIDEO)

Fraser Valley/Kamloops/Victoria – A High Streamflow Advisory has been issued for the Fraser River on May 10th, 2018.

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

  • Fraser River  including the mainstem from Prince George through Hope and the Fraser Valley

This less than 24 hours after the City of Chilliwack put out a flood warning for Carey Point.  Meanwhile locals in Grand Forks and Cawston are describing their flooding as the same if not worse than 70 years ago, in the infamous flood year of 1948.

Persistent warmer than normal temperatures across British Columbia for the past three weeks has led to a much earlier than normal runoff period for the Fraser River. Many of the gauge locations along the Fraser River are at or above their historic flows for this early in the freshet season.
A summary includes:

  • Fraser River at Shelley (Water Survey of Canada gauge 08KB001) is flowing at approximately 2900 m3/s (approaching a 2-year flow)
  • Fraser River near Marguerite (WSC 08MC018) is flowing at approximately 5070 m3/s (between a 2-year and 5-year flow) and rising
  • Fraser River above Texas Creek (WSC 08MN040) is flowing at 5500 m3/s (2-year flow) and rising
  • Fraser River at Hope (WSC 08MF005) is flowing at approximately 8500 m3/s (approaching a 2-year flow) and rising
  • Fraser River at Mission (WSC 08MH024) is at approximately 9300 m3/s and 4.8 m

Warmer weather earlier this week has increased snowmelt runoff across the basin. Rises through the lower reaches of the Fraser River are expected to continue into the weekend. Flows at Hope are expected to reach up to 10,000 m3/s over the weekend (water levels at Mission up to 5.5 m).
Over the weekend and into next week, high pressure is forecast to dominate the weather pattern across British Columbia, with warmer temperatures late-weekend, and hot temperatures forecast across the Interior early next week. Ongoing accelerated snow melt is expected to lead to ongoing rapid rises on the Fraser River throughout next week. Current modelling is indicating the potential for flows in the 12,000 m3/s range at Hope (gauge level at Mission of approximately 6.0 – 6.5 m) by late next week, and potentially higher over the May 19-22 period.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development produces 10-day Lower Fraser River Water Level Forecasting and results are available at: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/freshet/lower_fraser/LFR-10-DayFloodLevelForecasts.pdf

The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and update this advisory as conditions warrant.

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