Pine Pass Still Closed Due to Flooding
Prince George, B.C. – A major transportation route connecting the northern Interior to the Peace region remains closed this hour.
Flooding has forced the closure of Highway 97 at the Pine Pass since late yesterday afternoon. Flooding has also forced the closure of Highways 29 and 52. Drive BC doesn’t know when the highways will reopen.
In the meantime, this morning the BC River Forecast Centre upgraded the Flood Watch to a Flood Warning for the Peace Region including streams near Pine Pass, Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, and Fort St John.
Water levels have also increased overnight in major streams in the region. Flow conditions as of this morning are as follows:
- Pine River near East Pine is recording a flow of 3158 m3/s, which exceeds the 20-year return period flow. Water levels have risen 145cm overnight and have reached a peak overnight.
- Moberly River is recording a flow of 81 m3/s, which is between the 2-year and 5-year return period flow. Flows are forecast to reach between 100 and 120 m3/s by Thursday and peak early Friday morning. Peak flows may exceed the 10-year return period flow. Flows will begin to recede by late Friday.
- Kiskatinaw River is recoding a flow of approximately 470 m3/s, which is close to the 50-year return period flow. Water levels have risen 140 cm overnight and are likely to continue rising this morning.
- Sukunka River is recording a flow of 907 m3/s, which exceeds the 20-year return period flow. Water levels have risen 30 cm overnight and have reached a peak overnight.
- Murray River near the mouth is recording a flow of 760 m3/s, which is close to the 5-year return period flow. Water levels have risen 54 cm overnight and have reached a peak overnight.
- Fontas River is recording a flow of 34 m3/s. Water levels have risen 15 cm overnight and are expected to continue to rise through the day Thursday. Flows are forecast to reach between 400 to 570 m3/s by Friday and peak by Saturday morning. Peak flows may approach the 20-year return period event.
Dawson Creek Fire Chief Gordon Smith says flooding has already forced the evacuation of at least 36 people in Dawson Creek with the city setting up an emergency operations centre and an emergency social services reception centre at the fire station in town.
According to the forecast, he expects the rain to finally stop this afternoon.
Heavy rains forced the City of Prince George to close all civic baseball and soccer fields out of concern for public safety yesterday.