High Streamflow Advisory for Elk, Bull and Kootenay
In the past week, the snow pillows across the Kootenay region saw an average of between 150-200mm of melt, as most of us could tell by the higher water levels in our rivers and streams.
With the spring melt continuing and the potential for some rain over the next few days, the BC River Forecast Centre issued a High Streamflow Advisory this afternoon (May 27) for the East and West Kootenay. A High Streamflow Advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory for small to medium sized watersheds in the East and West Kootenay including: Elk River at Fernie (pictured above); Bull River; Kootenay River and small-to-medium sized tributary watersheds in the Nelson, Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden and surrounding areas.
An upper low pressure system is expected to move across southeast B.C. on Wednesday. This will bring moderate showers through the region, with the potential for localized areas of heavier rainfall. While many rivers have had receding levels over the past one to two days, another period of rising rivers is expected on Wednesday and into Thursday.
Many rivers in the region are currently just below a two-year flow level. The Elk River at Fernie (Water Survey of Canada gauge 08NK002) is currently flowing at an estimated 299 m3/s (between a two-year and five-year flow). The River Forecast Centre will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates as conditions warrant.
As always at this time of year, use extreme caution around waterways; take steps to protect your home/property if you are in an area prone to flooding; and, report any unusual stream behaviour or areas you feel may be subject to imminent flooding to the provincial hotline at 1-800-663-3456. Please use this number – as they alert the proper local emergency program personnel.
THESE TERMS ARE IMPORTANT TO KNOW: A High Streamflow Advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
A Flood Watch means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bank-full. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.
A Flood Warning means that river levels have exceeded bank-full or will exceed bank-full imminently, and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result.