Spring snowmelt is beginning in the region and the Cariboo Regional District is preparing to respond to any flood-related emergencies that could occur in the coming weeks and months, depending on weather. Residents should also be prepared in case of flooding concerns and develop their own emergency plans.
“This weekend, we were actively monitoring higher than normal stream flows in the region and we are prepared to respond to any flood related emergencies,” said John MacLean, the CRD’s EOC Director and Chief Administrative Officer.
“High stream flows are just one example of some of the impacts we could see from spring melt in the Cariboo,” MacLean explains. “We could also experience flooding, debris flows, high water tables or landslides during freshet, which is why we are encouraging residents to make sure they are prepared.”
“We’re also asking people to use caution around rivers, streams and culverts and urge children not to play in those areas.”
Assessing your property and buildings for potential drainage issues is an important proactive measure. Addressing these issues now and safeguarding, can reap big rewards when the snowmelt begins.
Having emergency plans in place in the event of an emergency is also beneficial. Preplanning to insure family members and their needs are considered, taking steps to reduce damage to your home or possessions in the event of floods (or fires), and making plans for pets and livestock will make evacuation or the ability to withstand an unexpected event easier to endure.
The snow basin index, or the amount of snow on the ground within a drainage area, is currently at 110 per cent of normal for the Cariboo region. However, the snow basin index is only one indication of flood risk. Temperature variations and precipitation events are also significant contributors to how the snow melts and runs off each spring.
Additionally, the B.C. River Forecast Centre (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/air-land-water/water/river-forecast/2018_apr1.pdf) reports, “Disturbances such as fire affect the hydrologic response of streams, rivers and lakes relevant to potential flooding. Specifically, flows from snowmelt dominated watersheds impacted by fires tend to be greater and peak earlier as compared to undisturbed areas, even under normal weather conditions. Many of the regions affected by burns last summer have above normal snow packs this year.”
If you are experiencing flooding issues that affect your home or business, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456. For other concerns, contact the Cariboo Regional District at 250-392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636.