The Peace region and northeast B.C. remain under a flood watch, as rivers, roads, and basements struggle to cope with a deluge that has brought up to 140mm of rainfall to the region over the last several days.
Flooding began Thursday morning in Dawson Creek and in the evening in Fort St. John. A further 10 to 20 mm of rain is expected Friday night, and rain will continue through Saturday.
The Ministry of Transportation says the region has seen between 70 to 140mm of rainfall, impacting 59 sites on provincial public highways and roads.
DriveBC reports the following road closures:
- Highway 52 N - Washout between Brassey Rd and Bearhole Lake Rd (68 km north of Tumbler Ridge). Road closed. Detour via 29S or 52E.
- Smithard - Washout between Braden and 261. Road closed.
- Sweetwater - Washout between 239 W Miller and 235A Hanson 19 km north of Dawson Creek. Road closed.
- Fraser - Washout between 243 and 241 18 km north of Dawson Creek. Road closed.
- Shaffer - Flooding between 97S and 208. Road closed.
- Smithard. Washout between Braden and 261. Road closed.
- Upper Cutbank - Washout between 235 and 195. Road closed.
- Kelly Lake - Flooding between 52E and 11 Kelly Lake. Road closed.
- Livingston. Washout at Augier Bridge. Road closed.
Flooding and sloughing is also being seen on the following roads:
- Highway 2 - Flooding between Old Edmonton Hwy and Fletcher Rd (1 km north of British Columbia and Alberta Border). Please drive slowly through water.
- Cecil Lake Rd Eastbound - Debris on roadway between 263 Rd and 251 Rd. REDUCE SPEED. The east side hill is sloughing/sliding onto the road.The lane is reduced in width.
- Highway 29. Mudslide between Halfway River Bridge and Upper Cache Rd for 2.3 km (4 to 2 km north of Halfway Rest Area). Single lane alternating traffic.
- Highway 97. Flooding between 235 Rd and Sweetwater Rd (18 km north of Dawson Creek). Road open to traffic. Drive with caution.
- Highway 97 - Flooding between 261 Rd and Braden Rd (34 km south of Dawson Creek). Drive slow and watch for traffic control persons.
- Highway 97 - Flooding between 271 Rd and 269 Rd (42 km south of Dawson Creek). Please drive slowly through water.
- Semple - Flooding between 97S and 212. Single lane alternating traffic
- Resbeck - Flooding between DGR and 223. Drive with caution.
- Nelson - Flooding between 52N and 245 Spence. Single lane alternating traffic.
"Maintenance contractors and ministry staff are responding to the sites and will continue to monitor throughout the weekend," the ministry said in a statement.
Of particular concern is the Cecil Lake Road hillside, which began sloughing Thursday night and has seen the loss of the some of the road shoulder and concrete barrier.
Speeds have been reduced to 50 km/h, and there is enough shoulder space on the opposite lane to continue two-way traffic, the ministry said.
“The maintenance contractor is looking at replacing the concrete barrier once the rains has subsided and will continue to monitor the site,” the ministry said. “The ministry will be assessing this site for a more permanent repair.”
Residents are urged to use caution and avoid large puddles, and to avoid using unnecessary water, such as washing clothes or dishes during heavy rainfall. Residents are also asked to check the catch basins in front of their homes for any debris.
The River Forecast Centre says river levels are rising rapidly in headwater areas and are expected to peak this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, the Peace River was running at 5,000 m3/s near Taylor and at 2,140 m3/s above the Pine River; the Kiskatinaw near Farmington was running at 531 m/3s.
BC Hydro reported the Williston reservoir at 2,194.9 feet on Friday morning. Full pool is 2,205 feet.
The public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.
Environment Canada say a persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain over the B.C. Peace River, Fort Nelson, and Muncho Lake Park- Stone Mountain Park regions.
The showers are expected to ease on Saturday as the low pressure system weakens.
Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts.
Sandbags are available for PRRD Residents at several locations around the Peace Region to help prevent flooding on their properties.
- Moberly Lake Fire Hall
- Yips Subdivision
- Compass Services
- Iver Johnson Community Park
- Tomslake Fire Hall
- Tupper Hall
- Halfway Graham Community Hall
Read more: Photos above the flooding of Dawson Creek
Read more: Old Fort landslide update - July 3, 2020
Read more: Old Fort landslide update - July 2, 2020
This is a developing story.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at firstname.lastname@example.org.