The Morice River was under a high streamflow advisory but now has been upgraded to a flood watch. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)

The Morice River was under a high streamflow advisory but now has been upgraded to a flood watch. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)

Heat wave and snowmelt put Morice River on flood watch

The BC River Forecast Centre says river levels in the upper Fraser to rise

The B.C. River Forecast Centre upgraded Morice River near Houston from a high streamflow advisory to floodwatch.

Heat wave that engulfed the province in the last few days has out several rivers in B.C. at risk of flooding. On June 30, the centre issued an advisory warning of flood watch for the region.

“Temperatures within the Skeena watershed has been sufficiently high to spur snow melt at all elevations. This snowmelt has caused many systems to rise; the most impacted within the Skeena watershed has been the Morice River,” read an advisory issued by the centre.

A flood warning is issued when river levels are rising and may exceed their banks. Flooding in adjacent areas is expected.

“Weather forecasts also indicate the potential for showers (20 mm of rain) within the region over the next three days.”

This rainfall will provide some relief in the heat but will in fact be not ideal for rivers. According to the forecast, although not a significant amount, the rain is expected to add to the snowmelt and will be even more problematic for systems that are already swollen from snowmelt.

There is still a high streamflow advisory for the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers.

A high streamflow advisory is issued when river levels are seen as rising, but no major flooding is expected.

The centre is advising the public to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.

A map showing the various flood warnings and advisories along the rivers all over the province, can be found at bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/index.