Heavy rain expected as lower Fraser River under high stream flow advisory

The cooler temperatures in B.C. not just wrecking outdoor plans - also leading to an increased flood risks. The River Forecast Centre says the province hasn't had conditions like this since 2012. Liza Yuzda has the latest.

By Mike Lloyd and The Canadian Press

The blast of heavy rain Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are expecting Thursday will only help push local river levels higher.

CityNews 1130 Meteorologist Michael Kuss’ forecast calls for 15 to 40 millimetres of rain for Metro Vancouver, which would be about a third of the total rainfall for a typical June for the region in one day.

“It is an atmospheric river, definitely. I would say the bullseye for the river portion, the heaviest flow, should we say is going to be closer to the Washington/Oregon border, not that we’re not going to get into it, especially for this time of year. Precipitation totals, they look like 15-20 mm on the low end, to as much as 40 mm up against the mountains. Stretching out into the Valley it will be a little bit less, especially the farther you go into the central and eastern parts of the Valley,” he explained. “That’s a lot of water for this time of year.”

This comes as the lower Fraser River remains under a high stream flow advisory.

The River Forecast Centre says the advisory applies to areas from Quesnel downstream, including Big Bar, Boston Bar, and the Fraser Valley from Hope to the ocean.

Water flow in the Fraser River’s tributaries is expected to make its way to the lower Fraser at Hope and downstream through the weekend, while Thursday’s rain is also expected to pump up river flow which may remain high for some time.

The most recently available provincial data from more than 100 weather stations shows the snow pack has been storing a large amount water in the mountains — it actually grew from 128 per cent of what’s normal on May 15 to 165 per cent on June 1.

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With the delayed snow melt, the River Forecast Centre predicts the lower Fraser River will remain vulnerable to extreme weather events, especially heavy rainfall or extreme heat, over the next few weeks.

You are being warned to stay clear of fast-flowing water and “potentially unstable riverbanks” along the Fraser River while the high stream flow advisory is in effect.

Emergency Management BC and the Ministry of Forests are set to provide a briefing at 12 p.m. Thursday on the latest snow survey and flood risk across the province.

This is a developing story. Stay with CityNews 1130 for the latest from the provincial briefing on-air and online

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