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RDKB Freshet dashboard resumes weekly updates

Boundary snowpack at 87 per cent

The regional director for Area C-Christina Lake is imploring people to send any questions over the snowpack, temperatures and the coming freshet to the RDKB Emergency Management Program and not the local rumor mill.

Temperatures are expected to be in the high teens and lower twenties Celcius for the rest of the week, which Director Grace McGregor said is already stoking some fears over local flooding on the Kettle River and other creeks fed by meltwater from the mountains.

To try and combat this, she addressed concerns in her latest column in the Thursday Christina Lake E-blast. Warming temperatures mean the snowpack could “ripen” and melt much faster, meaning there could be rising river levels by late next week. However, she added this rise is not expected to exceed the one-year return at this point.

She stressed the RDKB and Emergency Management Program team is monitoring the snowpack, river levels and weather patterns. They have the most accurate data and anyone looking for the latest updates should be contacting the RDKB.

“People should be paying attention to the dashboards we put out because they have such better information than someone saying ‘I heard this from someone else,’” she said. “I don’t have a crystal ball, but the RDKB has been doing this dashboard for a couple years and I put a link in the E-blast to get people used to going there to have a look and know, rather than hearsay.”

The dashboard can be found at: emergency.rdkb.com/Be-Prepared/Freshet-Conditions.

The RDKB has published its first freshet dashboard update of the season on March 11. This will continue to be published weekly until the freshet occurs. So far, the regional emergency response plan hasn’t been activated.

While again, she can’t predict what the weather will bring, for herself, she hoped coming cooling temperatures would help slow down the melt on the higher elevations, cutting the risk of flooding.

The Boundary Region’s snowpack is faring better than most, but is still below average, according to the latest data from the province.

According to the latest date from the Basin Snow Water Index, released March 1, the Boundary is sitting at 87 per cent. That isn’t accounting for the most recent snowfall.

This puts it in just one of four regions reporting snowpack in the 80 to 89 per cent. The other three are Okanagan, 80 per cent, East Boundary, 81 per cent, and Stikine, 84 per cent.

Just next door to the Boundary Region, the West Kootenays are sitting at 72 per cent. It is one of five regions reporting 70 to 79 per cent of the average snowpack coverage. It joins The Peace Region (70 per cent, Upper Fraser West (79 per cent), North Thompson (75 per cent), Lower Thompson (70 per cent) and Upper Columbia (70 per cent).

About half of the regions are in the 50 to 59 per cent, with Vancouver Island and South Coast well below average with 46 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.

The only region recording above average snowpack is the Northwest, at 114 per cent.

While the Boundary region is faring better than most, data indicates it’s still below average. Province-wide, B.C. is facing a dry spring with the average snowpack sitting at 39 per cent below normal levels. This makes March 1, 2024 snowpack data the lowest in two decades and the lowest ever recorded, the data showed.

There is still about four to six weeks left in the forecasted snowfall season, the data stated.



About the Author: Karen McKinley

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