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Skeena River on ‘flood watch’ advisory

The river is forecasted to potentially reach a once-in-20-year flow rate level
The Skeena River in Terrace, pictured on June 2 at around 1 p.m. The Skeena River has been upgraded to a Flood Watch, according to the BC River Forecast Centre. (Dan McGuire/Terrace Standard)

The BC River Forecast Centre has upgraded its High Streamflow Advisory for the Skeena River to a Flood Watch.

According to the notice, 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.”

As of 2 p.m. on June 2, the BC River Forecast Centre reported that automated snow weather stations in the area registered 35-55 millimetres of precipitation over the last 48-hours, significantly increasing the rate of snowmelt.

The most recent water level for the Skeena River at Usk was nearly 10 metres on June 2 at 1 p.m., compared to around six metres on May 25, according to Environment Canada data from Station 08EF001.

Nearly 70 millimetres of snow melted at the 4B16P Shedin Creek station yesterday, the most in the province. Fifty more millimetres have melted today.

According to the Forecast Centre’s report, the Skeena River at Usk is currently flowing at 4,900 cubic metres per second (between 2 and 5‐year flow) and forecast to potentially reach 20‐year return period levels. That means that the river’s current rate of flow (at 4,900 cubic metres per second) is what is expected to occur once every two or five years and the potential forecast of the flow is pointing towards a once-in-20-years projection level.

The Nass River above Shumal Creek is flowing at 3,450 metres cubic metres per second and is forecast to possibly reach five year return period levels.

The BC River Forecast Centre advises people to stay clear of the rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine has issued an evacuation alert for New Remo and Old Remo. At this time residents are not required to evacuate, but should be prepared to do so if conditions worsen.

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