High streamflow expected on Thompson Rivers

North Thompson River is rising rapidly.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory for the North and South Thompson Rivers and all its tributaries.

A high streamflow advisory means river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

The TNRD is urging residents in low-lying areas to be on the alert for high water flows and to keep children and livestock away from unstable river banks, which are prone to sudden collapse. They should watch for debris flows that could damage pump intakes, culverts and bridges.

The River Forecast Centre also says Kamloops Lake may experience levels similar to when it flooded in 2012. Residents next to the lake should expect some shoreline flooding, and are advised to move equipment and other assets to higher ground where possible.

The TNRD is making sand and sandbags available for residents of Savona at the Savona Lakeshore Park in anticipation of rising lake levels.

Anyone noticing flooding in their area, or needing sand bags for protection of private property, can contact the Emergency Management B.C. 24-hour Emergency Co-ordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456, or go to http://www.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc for more information about flood preparedness.

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Flooding brings extra work for mosquito crews

Mosquito control is a science.

Spring flooding has caused enough problems, but here’s another one — mosquitos.

“Due to the amount of water that has been seen from rain and snowmelt, there is significantly more standing water than usual, which means more mosquito habitat,” said Cheryl Phippen of BWP Consulting Inc., the TNRD’s mosquito control contractor.

“Now that we are expecting warmer temperatures, adult mosquitoes will start to emerge. Crews will continue to work diligently to search for larvae and to treat as much habitat as possible.”

Area P is prominently among the areas needing attention. Extensive larval development sites in Pinantan, Paul Lake, Vinsulla and McLure have been treated, as well as Logan Lake, Knutsford, Blackpool ,Clearwater and throughout the city of Kamloops. (I can tell you that when the sun starts to sink in the evenings, the mozzies in Black Pines are second to none.)

Last week, in response to a small peak of the North Thompson River, helicopter treatment was conducted to treat mosquito larvae in flooded habitats between Darfield and Kamloops.

Both the North and South Thompson rivers are rapidly rising and the mid and high elevation snowpack has yet to melt. Significant flooding and the creation of considerable mosquito habitat from Vavenby to Kamloops along the North Thompson River, and from Chase to Kamloops along the South Thompson, is expected.

Crews that began field operations in mid-April will continue to monitor larval development in the 320 known development habitats, and will treat mosquito larvae when they’re present.

For more information about the Mosquito Control Program or to report potential mosquito habitat visit tnrd.ca or call the TNRD Mosquito Advisory Line at 250-372-5700.

Boaters asked to observe voluntary speed limit on Heffley Lake

HEFFLEY LAKE – High water is a concern to residents right now and with the long weekend upon us it’s doubly worrisome.

Long weekends mean more activity on the lake, including power boats and wakeboard boats, which cause potential damage to property when water is high. The Heffley Lake Community Association asked if there was a way to encourage boaters to take it easy so, after consulting with TNRD staff, I arranged for signage to be provided.

The signs warn boaters of the risk to wildlife as well as to property and ask for their cooperation in slowing down and following a “no-tow” rule until the lake level goes down.

Area P residents cope with impact of flooding

Electoral Area P has escaped the worst of the flooding, but that’s not to say it hasn’t caused major problems for residents in the area.

I’ve been getting around to as many of the affected locations as possible. Much of the damage is to roads, and a lot of repairs need to be done.

Homes haven’t entirely escaped, however. A home at Pinantan Lake had to be sandbagged last week, and residents all around the lake were watching nervously as the lake level rose.

At Little Heffley Lake, a house was flooded when Yates Creek breached its banks after the Thursday night rain and rampaged down toward the lake until it was temporarily diverted to another path. The house sustained serious flooding in the basement, and soaked drywall had to be removed. Neighbours pitched in to do substantial sandbagging around the house to prevent further flooding.

All up and down Heffley-Louis Creek Road there are spots that have been undermined or over-run by runoff.

The TNRD continues to help those in need with the EOC and to provide information through resiliency centres. EOC staff have been keeping all electoral area directors up to speed on developments.

Crews going full tilt to catch up to flood damage

A look at the Heffley area today (May 8, 2017) confirms significant flood damage as reported on the weekend but the water has at least slowed down. Drivers were being cautious and heeding the markers and signs erected at washout areas.

Elsewhere in the TNRD, a state of local emergency was declared at 9 p.m. tonight (May 8, 2017) for the Nicola Valley north electoral area.

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TNRD opens emergency operations centre in response to flooding

River levels are rising.

Flooding in areas within the regional district has resulted in various road closures, including major highway access.

The TNRD said today (May 5, 2017) Rodeo Drive in Cherry Creek was closed, and the TNRD was working with the Ministry of Transportation to investigate alternative access routes for the area.

The TNRD activated its emergency operations centre in the wake of the flooding to coordinate response. It advised residents to evacuate immediately if they’re in an area in which imminent danger is caused by flooding.

The provincial government urged caution and encouraged the public to prepare for localized flooding as water levels are expected to rise in the B.C. Central and Southern Interior regions of the province due to anticipated increased snowmelt, precipitation and higher than normal rain levels throughout recent weeks.

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Heffley community group makes strong case for cell service

We tend to take cellphone service for granted, until we haven’t got it.

Most of the area between Heffley Creek and Sun Peaks is a dead zone, and the Heffley Lake Community Association has been trying for the past several years to talk Telus into providing cell service.

I’ve talked with Telus a number of times about this, and I understand their reluctance — the company has to go wherever it can make a profit, and it’s hard to make a profit by providing mobile phone service to less populated areas.

Because of this, Telus focuses its business plan on highway corridors. But the community association makes an excellent case.

For one thing, there’s a clear need. It could be argued that cell service is even more important to rural areas than it is to urban centres. When there’s an emergency — such as an auto accident or farm accident — in a rural area, cell service is often a life saver.

The road up to Sun Peaks is a high-traffic, high-volume road, and RCMP have joined the call for cell service. RCMP received 242 calls there in 2016, including several with injuries and at least one fatal.

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