(Photo supplied by My Nechako Valley Now staff)
The BC River Forecast Centre continues to monitor the snowpack levels of the Nechako River in Vanderhoof.
Mayor Gerry Thiessen noted residents should stay away from the river as it remains an area of concern following a recent interview.
“The river down at the bridge seems to be opening a bit and we aren’t quite seeing the fluctuations we did see in the past with the river going up and down – but still, whatever you do stay away from the river.”
“It’s not a place you want to be anywhere close to. We are seeing the current open up in places we have never seen before so the ice isn’t very thick. Before very careful on it.”
Hydrologist, Jonathan Boyd told MyNechakovalleyNow.com the snowpack levels are decreasing slowly but surely.
“It has dropped when taking a looking at the average of our three automated sites. It went from 117% to 113% so it has dropped about four points since the start of February so it hasn’t been accumulating as much (the snowpack).”
In nearby Prince George, the Upper Fraser West basin came in at 109% of normal, slightly higher than the January mark of 103.
In addition, the Upper Fraser East saw its snowpack sink dramatically to 103% of normal after it was 117 the month prior.
However, Boyd cautioned the area is not out of the woods yet when it comes to spring flooding.
“Even though we are at near-normal for the Upper Fraser and slightly above normal for the Nechako, there is a risk this year, especially because the snow accumulation season isn’t over and the snowmelt is only one aspect of flooding.”
While the recent deep-freeze we experienced proved beneficial, the next two weeks are equally as important.
“The weather pattern has changed to slightly warmer, which of course would mean that there is not necessarily snow in the valley. It does look like the upcoming two weeks maybe a return back to fairly heaven snow accumulation,” said Boyd.
Boyd also noted because most of the province is pretty much at near-normal levels, it’s likely one region of BC will see some form of spring runoff.
“Because the whole province is at this level of the snowpack, there will be somewhere in the province where it will flood, maybe not extreme depending on an individual circumstance of what might be a lesser eventful flood. However, it can be quite impactful for a local resident.”
The next bulletin is scheduled to come out March 9th.