Storm clouds moved into the Cariboo region Tuesday night, setting the area up for a thorough soaking all day and night Canada Day, Wednesday, July 1. (David Fait photo)

Cariboo waterways swell as special weather statement, rain continues Thursday July 2

Quesnel River at Likely and Quesnel Lake seeing 20 to 50 year events

Update: The special weather statement has ended

A special weather statement remains in place Thursday morning, July 2, for the Cariboo Chilcotin due to heavy rains.

Cities in the region saw steady rain on Canada Day, July 1, resulting in 13.3 mm of precipitation recorded for Quesnel, 17.3 mm for Williams Lake and a whopping 33.9 mm for 100 Mile House, breaking the record for rainfall set previously in 1999 at 16.5 mm, according to Environment Canada.

Quesnel River at Likely is currently experiencing a 20 to 50 year flow rate, with sections of Cedar Point Provincial Park at Likely flooding. Hundreds of kilometres of beaches along Quesnel Lake, meanwhile, have all but disappeared under the high water levels and large debris can be seen floating in the lake. Quesnel Lake is also experiencing a 20 to 50 year flow rate, according to the BC River Forecast Centre.

Quesnel River at Quesnel is seeing a five to 10 year flow rate, however, even that level has been enough to cause flooding along walking trails in the city of Quesnel.

The San Jose River above Borland Creek near Williams Lake, which already flooded once this spring, is currently experiencing a 10 to 20 year flow rate.

Read More: Significant rain in the forecast for some areas of Cariboo-Chilcotin

Other rivers in the region experiencing high flow rates include the Fraser River at Marguerite, Little Swift River at the mouth, Horsefly River above Quesnel Lake, Moffat Creek near Horsefly, Chilcotin River near Hanceville and Bridge Creek below Deka Creek.

In the south, Bonaparte River below Cache Creek and Arrowstone Creek near the mouth are seeing five to 10 year events. A travel advisory is in effect for Highway 1 at Cache Creek due to flooding Thursday morning, and motorists are being advised to plan for a road closure on Highway 97 in that area in the event of rain heavy.

Environment Canada states a moist easterly flow associated with a deep Alberta low will continue to stream moisture across the Rocky Mountains and into B.C. Thursday, July 2.

Most of these regions have already received significant amounts of rain over the past 24 hours, ranging from 15 to 30 mm, with higher amounts over the mountains, locally up to 30 and 50 mm.

“As the main band of organized rainfall slides further north, rain will end rapidly Thursday morning across the Cariboo but persist along an axis extending from Williston to Prince George to Blue River. However, the unstable airmass over regions to the south will favour the development of showers and thunderstorms later in the day. Some heavier showers and thunderstorms will have the potential of adding 10 to 15 mm locally over short periods well into this evening,” states Environment Canada.

Higher rainfall amounts are expected over the mountains, especially over the Williston, McGregor, and Cariboo regions where storm totals will reach 40 to 60 mm.

“Although the rainfall amounts may not be exceptionally heavy, the significance of this event is due to the potential for rising rivers levels. There is significant concern for high flows in the Quesnel River (Cariboo Mountains), the North Thompson (Blue River/Clearwater region) and South Thompson (Shuswap).


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