The North Thompson River has peaked and waters will begin receding Saturday, prompting the province’s River Forecast Centre to end a flood watch for the valley.
But, with further downpours expected early in the weekend, forecaster David Campbell issued a new warning Friday for the Shuswap/Okanagan region and the Upper Columbia.
That flood watch is for the Shuswap and Eagle rivers and surrounding areas and the Columbia and Kicking Horse rivers and surrounding areas, he said.
“We’re going to watch that closely to see if we get any more rain in the headwaters,” said Campbell. “With the rain that is comin,g the areas to the east (of Kamloops) are a little bit more of a concern for us.”
Rain was forecast to fall in the North Thompson Friday night and more is expected today. Ron Storie, manager of community services for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, said staff will keep an eye on flood plains just in case.
“All (ending the flood watch) does is give us some breathing room. Right now, things aren’t as bad as they were looking,” said Storie.
Rain was originally expected to fall most of the day Friday, but the storm didn’t materialize. They hope the worst has passed, he said.
“It’s all rain dependent,” said Storie.
With few low-lying areas in the North Thompson, the region has so far been able to avoid the serious problems occurring elsewhere in the province, said Campbell.
But that’s not the case in Prince George, where a flood threat has caused a state of emergency to be declared. Seventeen residences near the Fraser River are being evacuated because of rising water levels.
People in those homes are being asked to leave the area immediately and are being provided with transportation assistance if required. The city’s fire officials and RCMP are co-ordinating the evacuation.
The forecast centre has issued a flood warning for Prince George, saying the part of the Fraser River that runs through the city was expected to peak Friday.
Officials are reminding residents to stay well back from the riverbanks due to the possibility of hidden erosion, and are also warning against recreational activity along the waterway.