The snowpack in the Okanagan is 129 per cent above its normal annual levels, which means a higher likelihood of seasonal flooding this spring.
According to a B.C.’s River Forecast Centre report, the Okanagan has the third highest above-normal snowpack out of 22 regions in the province as of Feb. 1.
“For snow-melt dominated rivers in the interior of the province, the likelihood of spring flooding increases with high snowpacks,” explained the centre in a release.
“This is most pronounced when snow basin index values approach or exceed 120 per cent.”
The report stated the Okanagan is one region of particular concern for seasonal flooding this year.
“Seasonal flood risk is thus emerging in the Upper Fraser – West, North Thompson, South Thompson, West Kootenay, Okanagan and Boundary with increased snowpack levels.”
Other areas that are at a high risk of flooding include the Skagit and Boundary regions, which are currently at 134 per cent and 128 per cent higher than their normal snowpacks, respectively.
This could be particularly concerning for the city of Grand Forks, in the Boundary Region, which suffered severe flooding in 2018.
At the time, Canadian Armed Forces personnel were deployed to the city after it experienced some of its worst flooding in recent history.
That same year, Osoyoos and Armstrong were placed on an evacuation alert after the towns were hit hard by rising water.
Another seasonal flood risk forecast will be released by the centre on March 1. To view the most recent report, you can visit the centre’s website.