The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is requesting the public to refrain from recreating on or near the Bulkley River, including small streams and tributaries.
This request comes after the B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for the Bulkley River today, including Buck Creek and areas around Houston and Smithers.
Last week authorities warned of potential flooding across the province, with snow melting rapidly as temperatures soared.
Although temperatures cooled over the weekend, warmer temperatures are forecast for later this week, and will lead to another period of increased snow melt towards the end of the week and into the weekend.
The District of Houston has been closely watching areas such as Henry Creek and Silverthorne Creek for high water flows. Last Friday the district said Silverthorne Creek waters levels were still “looking okay.”
The unseasonably hot weather comes after a long winter that has left a heavy snowpack in its wake.
According to David Campbell, head of the provincial River Forecast Centre, Houston may see heavy melting as temperatures climb.
“We definitely are seeing localized pockets of quite high snowpack,” he recently told Black Press. “We haven’t really seen melt yet there significantly; I think this will notch those areas up a bit.”
He added that riverbanks are unstable and that people should exercise special caution around them.
The RDBN advises residents who live in an area that may be subject to flooding to consider preparing an emergency kit for each family member with enough supplies for up to one week. They also advise moving property that can be damaged by flood waters to higher ground; paying attention to local media for flood or emergency information; and making a plan for pets and livestock.
If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies.
In case of an emergency, residents are urged to contact the District of Houston on-call staff at 250-845-8591. Sand and empty sandbags are available upon request.
If you require sand or sandbags to protect your primary dwelling at imminent risk of flooding, you may also contact the RDBN at 250-692-3195 from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.After hours non-medical or RCMP emergencies should be directed to 1-800-663-3456.
The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and update this advisory as conditions warrant.
– With files from David Gordon Koch