(by Kate Bouey)
BC emergency preparedness officials are switching from flood watch to flood recovery as the snowpack dwindles in the hills.
“Canada Forces resources are returning home, our wildfire operations people are starting to shift to their primary hazard, of course wildfires are starting to show up, but we still have a little over 60 wildfire operations people remaining in flood operations right now,” said Chris Duffy of Emergency Management BC.
Duffy said a recovery branch had been activated within the provincial emergency coordination centre.
Meanwhile, the BC River Forecast Centre’s David Campbell said that only a significant rainfall event could cause major flooding in some areas of the province.
“We have seen ongoing accelerated melt of the snow,” said Campbell. “Forty percent to 100 percent of the snowpack that we started the season with has now melted….We’ve really transitioned to well below normal for this time of year.”
Campbell blamed the quick snowmelt on the extreme spring temperatures.
High stream flow advisories have been cancelled for many areas although they remain in effect for the Shuswap River and Shuswap Lake, he said.
Meanwhile, residents along Okanagan and Kalamalka Lakes are being asked to keep flood protection measures in place as both lakes remain above full pool at this time.