The public is being asked to prepare for localized flooding as water levels in Nicola Lake and river rise due to increased snowmelt and higher than normal rain levels throughout April.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations owns and operates Nicola Lake dam and regulates the water levels on Nicola Lake. Although water levels in Nicola Lake were higher than normal through the December – February period, the ministry was able to reduce the level to the prescribed March 1 and April 1 target levels by releasing higher than normal flows from the dam throughout the winter.
In response to the relatively wet April conditions and melting snowpack, Nicola Lake levels have been rising for the past 15 days. The current weather and streamflow forecasts indicate a warming trend over the entire Nicola River watershed that will result in a significant rise in snowmelt rate and therefore river flows.
Currently, the water level on Nicola Lake is approximately one metre below the level at which minor flooding of landscape areas around the lake could be expected and it is forecast that over the next 30 days the lake levels will continue to rise.
Residents next to the lake should expect some shoreline flooding. The public is advised to prepare for possible flooding of low-lying areas by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground, where possible.
During periods of high flow, river banks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse. Stay well away and keep young children and pets away from the banks of fast-flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges.
For more information on flood prevention and flood response, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/know-the-risks/floods