No current flood risk on Thompson Rivers

By Jeremy Deutsch

Kamloops This Week

As floods wreak havoc in other parts of the country and other areas of the province, residents in Kamloops and area can likely rest easy.

Officials with B.C.’s River Forecast Centre noted last week that flow levels for the North Thompson and South Thompson rivers are just starting to reach normal levels for this time this year.

In a Monday, May 16, briefing to the media on the flood situation around the province, David Campbell of the River Forecast Centre said it will still be some time before river levels become a concern in the Kamloops area.

The last forecast report at the beginning of May indicated the South Thompson basin had a snowpack level of about 110 per cent of normal, while the North Thompson basin was sitting at 103 per cent of normal.

The biggest trouble spot for flooding remains in the Quesnel area, with several residents facing a rapidly rising Cottonwood River.

The problems began two weeks ago when a combination of warm and wet weather led to a fast snowpack melt, driving river-flow levels to flood heights.

Despite the near-normal conditions in the Kamloops area, the surrounding region has not escaped Mother Nature’s wrath.

Residents near Falkland along the Salmon River have been on flood watch since May 15.

Localized flooding has been reported in the area, but so far confined to Falkland and Westwold.

Meanwhile, flood warnings were in place last week along the Nicola River near Merritt and along the Bonaparte River near Cache Creek.

In regions with near or slightly above-normal snow packs, such as the North Thompson and South Thompson basins, normal flood risk and seasonal runoff is expected.