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Freshet Update May 19

Date: May 19, 2020 at 1:00 PM

View here the Information Release IN PDF format: Preparation for Potential Flooding

Due to continued high levels of inflow to Nicola Lake following the most recent storm, and uncertainty regarding potential precipitation over the next four days, we encourage residents along the Nicola River to make preparations for potential flood level flows of up to ~43 cubic metres per second (cms). As current levels of flow from the dam are ~36 cms, this change, if implemented, could lead to a rise in water level of ~8 inches. For a more detailed review of the Nicola River freshet situation, you can view our video update produced earlier today by clicking this link.

It is still entirely possible that increased outflows from the dam will not be necessary and that current levels of flow can merely be maintained. However, from the outset of this year’s freshet, we committed to providing residents with as much information and notice as possible in the event that flooding becomes a real possibility. To that end, we feel it necessary to encourage residents to begin protecting their private property.

If increasing outflows is deemed necessary, we do not anticipate that a change at the dam will be made until Thursday, May 21 at the earliest, to allow residents as much time as possible prepare.

For reference, outflows from the dam reached 53 cms in 2017 and 78 cms in 2018. In both of those years, Mill Creek was also running at higher levels than what we are experiencing today. While flooding remains a possibility in 2020, if it occurs, it will not be as severe as what was experienced in either 2017 or 2018.

We will continue to monitor and measure Nicola River levels and will keep residents informed of any new information as we receive it over the next few days.

Lastly, pre-filled sandbags are available at the Civic Center for any persons who would like them.