Some Horsefly locals believe the Horsefly River could rise to the point of flooding the area due to melting snowpacks.

Some Horsefly locals believe the Horsefly River could rise to the point of flooding the area due to melting snowpacks.

Melting snowpack could cause local floods

The Cariboo Chilcotin could be in for some flooding over the next four to five weeks, according to the province’s River Forecast Centre.

The Cariboo Chilcotin could be in for some flooding over the next four to five weeks, according to the province’s River Forecast Centre.

A flood scenario, however, is dependent on a weather system in the next few weeks that produces a series of hot days that melt the remaining snowpack quickly.

As it stands, the RFC says there is a delay in the onset of significant snow melt this year.

“We’re as much as four weeks late now,” says Dave Campbell, head of the RFC.

The flooding on the Cottonwood River system near Quesnel was due to high levels of precipitation rather than snow melt; that precipitation produced even greater amounts of snow at higher elevations.

Throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin region, Campbell says, the melt is starting so water levels in rivers throughout the area are expected to rise.

“I think the general overall picture is we’ve still got significant snowpack throughout the region, and as we move into the melt period we’ve got lots of snow to melt off.

“So we’ll see a period where we’ll have an upswing of flows and we’ll be in a window where we’ll be watching closely at the weather to see how it drives the snow melt.”

The River Forecast Centre estimates the snowpack in the mid-Fraser basin to be 120 per cent of normal. That is near the threshold where the RFC deems there could be concerns due to the volume of water that’s stored on the land base and that needs to melt off.

The province’s flood advisories and warnings are available at http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/.