Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for the Cariboo Wednesday morning due to concerns of high water levels combined with significant rainfall. Angie Mindus photo

Special weather statement issued for Cariboo

Afternoon thunderstorm with strong wind gusts and downpours expected for Williams Lake and Quesnel

Update:

There are no alerts in effect as of Thursday, May 10, although there is a risk of thunderstorms and rain in the forecast.

Original story:

A special weather statement is in effect for the Cariboo today.

Heavy downpours packing 10 to 15 millimetres of rain per hour, wind gusts up to 60 km/hr and hail up to five millimetres in diameter are all possible, according to Environment Canada.

The alert was issued at 5:03 a.m. for Cariboo north including Quesnel and Cariboo south including Williams Lake but also mentions Fort St. James and the Bulkley Valley.

“Although cooler temperatures are expected today, a system advancing from the Pacific will bring rainfall. Amounts will be heaviest from Quesnel to Fort St James where 10 to 20 mm are possible. Elsewhere from the Bulkley Valley to the Cariboo amounts will be in the range of 5 to 10 mm,” states Environment Canada. “Furthermore, the airmass will become more unstable Wednesday afternoon and local thunderstorms could give additional potential for up to 10 mm resulting in increased potential for flooding.”

Maximum temperatures near the 20 degree mark combined with significant snow melt has resulted in increased water levels in some watersheds over the Central Interior, the alert states.

“Localized flooding has been reported and conditions may deteriorate further.”

The alert cautions residents not to approach washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts as fast-flowing water and the adjacent riverbanks are potentially unsafe.

The forecast for Thursday also calls for thunderstorms before a weekend of hot, sunny weather.

Read more: Erosion concerns close parts of Williams Lake River Valley

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