MERRITT - It is anticipated that the heavy rainfall experienced over the past 48 hours will cause the streamflow in creeks and rivers feeding Nicola Lake to increase and remain high for at least another two weeks.
Residents and resort owners along Nicola Lake, in low-lying areas through the City of Merritt, and downstream along the Nicola River are advised to take precautions to minimize damage to property. This may involve moving or raising items that may be impacted by rising water levels.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations operates Nicola Lake dam and regulates the water levels on Nicola Lake. To limit the rate of rise expected from the increased inflow to Nicola Lake, the ministry has scheduled an initial increase in outflow rates for later this week, with a potential for additional incremental changes in outflow over the next 10 days.
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. The public is advised to stay well away from the banks of fast flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges. Young children and pets can be at particular risk during this period.
Although the ministry is actively managing Nicola Lake Dam to minimize negative impacts both upstream and downstream of the dam, residents should be aware that unforeseen adverse weather conditions may affect water levels and flow forecasts, and result in some degree of flooding along the length of the river.
For more information on flood prevention and flood response, visit: http://embc.gov.bc.ca/em/floods/preparedness.html
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations