The North and South Thompson Rivers and the Thompson River through Kamloops and downstream are now on flood watch. The B.C. River Forecast Centre today (June 1, 2017) upgraded its earlier high streamflow advisory on the rivers, meaning levels will approach or may exceed “bankfull.”
The term “bankfull” means water could overflow the tops of banks onto flood plains.
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District today urged residents in low-lying areas to be on the alert for high water flows and to keep children and livestock away from unstable banks, which are prone to sudden collapse.
They should also watch for debris flows that could damage pump intakes, culverts and bridges.
The City of Kamloops has closed boat launches at Pioneer Park, McArthur Island, and Thompson Drive due to the high water levels. Boating on local rivers is not recommended due to the debris.
Anyone on the water is asked to use extreme caution and travel at idling speeds to prevent bank erosion. As river levels continue to rise, boat passage under the South Thompson railway bridge may not be possible.
High water levels have activated various actions in the City’s flood response plan, including closing the Rivers Trail between Riverside Park and Pioneer Park, closing the pier at Riverside Park, turning off pathway lighting from the Riverside Park pier to Sandman Centre, and covering catch basins to prevent river water from backing up onto roadways. The City continues to monitor river flows and modelling information from the B.C. River Forecast Centre.
The North Thompson is expected to crest over the weekend. The South Thompson River continues to rise, with its peak expected in about two weeks. Further flood protection measures may be undertaken as water levels increase.
Anyone needing sand and bags for protection of private property can contact the Emergency Co-ordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456 or go to http://www.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc for more information about flood preparedness. Information for city residents on locations and sandbagging techniques can be found at http://www.kamloops.ca/sandbagging.