Yes the rivers are rising, but it’s nothing to worry about — at least not if you’re careful.
“It’s definitely a good time of year for people to be aware that rivers are pretty dynamic things and to be careful around them,” said head of B.C. River Forecast Centre David Campbell.
Campbell acknowledges what many have observed this week — rivers are rising. But that’s to be expected this time of year, he said.
“Certainly within the region, rivers are going to be higher than normal as we go through that seasonal flux.”
Next week will bring even higher waters when the anticipated warmer weather feeds snowmelt into tributaries such as the Nicola River, Chase Creek and Salmon River.
Although a hot spell 10 days ago ate through some of the mid-elevation snow pack, cooler than normal temperatures have kept much of it around, so close attention is being paid to just how quickly tributaries will rise.
“Of potential concern are the smaller watersheds that can react quicker when you get this warmer weather,” said Campbell. “There’s still quite a lot of snow so the concern would be for those small to medium size rivers.”
Larger rivers aren’t expected to raise concern for some time, however.
North Thompson River levels won’t peak until late May or early June and the South Thompson River may peak as late as July.
The Thompson Nicola Regional District emergency services supervisor Jason Tomlin said authorities haven’t taken any steps towards flood mitigation yet.
“We rely on the River Forecast Centre,” he said. “We go on what they say.”
The centre releases its snow bulletin on Tuesday, which looks at the ongoing risk of flooding based on the May 1 snow pack.
“If we get to the point where we expect rivers or collective regions of areas to get to levels of concern we’ll issue advisories or warnings,” said Campbell.