Advisories upgraded to flood warnings on Tulameen, Coldwater and Lower Nicola rivers

Upgraded to flood warnings

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has upgraded advisories on the Tulameen, Coldwater and Lower Nicola rivers to flood warnings.

A flood watch remains in place for the Similkameen River.

"Significant rainfall affecting the Fraser Valley was able to spillover the Cascade and Coast Mountains and into Interior watersheds," said the BC River Forecast Centre.

A weather station located within the Tulameen watershed is reporting 50 mm of rain since Saturday evening.

"Temperatures increased during the storm event and likely contributed to snowmelt at mid-elevations and rain-on-snow runoff. Rivers have risen quickly but are not expected to reach the levels from the November 13-15 event," the notice continues. "Although they still may cause significant flooding."

For comparison, the same weather station recorded 250 mm of precipitation from November 13-15.

As of 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Coldwater River at Brookemere appears to be peaking at 100 m3/s (between a five and 10-year event) and is starting to recede.

Coldwater River near Merritt is flowing at 138 m3/s (50-year flow) and rising.

Spius Creek near Canford reached a water level of 2.568 m at 12:10 and is starting to recede.

Tulameen River below Vuich Creek appears to be peaking at approximately 130 m3/s (between 5-year and 10-year flow).

Tulameen River at Princeton is flowing at 245 m3/s (between 2-year and 5-year flow) and rising.

Similkameen River at Princeton is flowing at 85 m3/s (between 1-year and 2-year flow) and rising.

Similkemeen River near Hedley is flowing at 327 m3/s (between 1-year and 2-year flow) and rising.

"A third storm is the series of atmospheric rivers arrives on Tuesday-Wednesday. Currently, the weather models display significant uncertainty in total precipitation for the third event for the Central Region," the notice continues. "The risk remains for significant flooding under the wettest weather model scenario."

The public is advised to stay clear of surging rivers and creeks.

An interactive map of river forecasts is here.

ORIGINAL 2:30 p.m.

The BC Rivers Forecast Centre has issued a Flood Watch advisory for both the Tulameen and Similkameen rivers.

In an update posted Sunday, Nov. 28, The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre (RDOS EOC) told residents to be prepared for potential flooding as the weather changes.

RDOS says river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Rain and snowmelt are expected now through Wednesday, December 1, 2021. High winds may accompany these storms in parts of the BC Interior.

Flooding last week has created increased vulnerabilities and increased risks. If conditions deteriorate, the rivers forecast centre could update the Flood Watch to a Flood Warning.

The public is advised to stay clear of fast-flowing water and potentially unstable riverbanks.

This latest advisory comes as many in small communities along the Tulameen River, including Princeton, are still recovering from the floods two weeks ago that swamped homes and cut off roads.

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