Flood Warning along the Skeena

Tue, May 16, 2023

As much as we love the heat - rapid snow melt is causing flooding throughout the province, including in the North. The long weekend is coming up - so we wanted potential travelers to be aware that there is currently a flood warning along the Skeena. See below for details, and stay safe everyone!

See below for an update from the River Forecast Centre.

UPDATE – Flood Warning – Skeena Region (UPGRADE)

Issued: 10:00 AM May 16, 2023

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

1. Skeena Region, including the Skeena River, Bulkley River and surrounding tributaries around Wet'suwet'en and Gitxsan Territories, Telkwa, Smithers, Hazelton, Kispiox, and Terrace

Weather Synopsis:

Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement for the region, indicating that the B.C. Interior is experiencing unseasonably hot weather. Temperatures are forecast to be hot throughout the week, with daytime highs 10 to 15 degrees Celsius above seasonal values and overnight lows will be 5 to 10 degrees normal. Hot temperatures are forecasted to last through the week with temperatures in the upper 20’s to 30°C.

River Conditions:

Hot temperatures are leading to accelerated snowmelt in the region. Streamflow in most areas has begun to rise in response to increased snowmelt runoff. With hot temperatures expected to persist through next week, on-going rises in river levels is expected. Current monitoring is indicating most gauged rivers in the region are flowing at 2-year to 10-year flows.

On the Bulkley River near Smithers (Water Survey of Canada Gauge 08EE005), flows are expected to exceed the flood stage (>5.0m) today and may reach up to 10-year flow levels (5.4m) over the Wednesday-Thursday period (May 17-18)

On the Skeena River at Usk (08EF001) water levels have reached 10.8m and are anticipated to exceed flood stage (11.0m) later today. Flows are forecast to continue to rise over the next few days (May 17-19) and may reach up to 20-year flows (7000 m3/s or 12.5-13.0 m)

The public is advised:

River levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly. Being near these riverbanks, creeks and fast-flowing bodies of water is dangerous:

1. Stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks

2. Avoid recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, boating or hiking near high streamflow rivers or streams

3. Remember, high streamflow can easily trap strong swimmers, increasing risk of drowning

During a High Streamflow Advisory, conditions can change quickly. Understand the risks and get prepared by visiting www.PreparedBC/floods

The River Forecast Centre continues to monitor the conditions and will provide updates as conditions warrant.

Additional Information is here: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/index.htm