UPDATED: Flood watch for Kettle ended, Granby downgraded to high streamflow advisory

Due to high temperatures, there has been a rapid melt of this season's snow pack leading to higher levels in area rivers.

A High Streamflow Advisory has been issued for the Kettle and Granby Rivers.

A High Streamflow Advisory has been issued for the Kettle and Granby Rivers.

Editor’s note: Updated with latest information from BC River Forecast Centre.

A flood watch has been ended for both the Granby and Kettle Rivers.

According to information from the BC River Forecast Centre, the Granby River is now at a high streamflow advisory while the flood watch and high streamflow advisory have been ended for the West Kettle, Kettle and tributary creeks.

“Temperatures have dropped significantly over the past day, and this has led to reduced snow melt rates throughout the Southern Interior,” read a release from the BC River Forecast Centre. “The Kootenay region received moderate precipitation yesterday (five to 30 mm of rain was observed at automated snow pillows …”

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A high streamflow advisory for the Kettle and Granby Rivers has been upgraded to a flood watch.

According to a release from the City of Grand Forks, the River Forecast Centre advised that the rivers are in a holding pattern due to the current cooler temperatures.

“Any further rise in the rivers will be dependent on the amount of rainfall the area may receive in the next 24 hours,” the release said. “Systems are still expected to stay below 2006 levels.”

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According to Environment Canada, clouds with a high of 16 C are forecast for today (Tuesday), clearing with a low of 6 C tonight. Wednesday will see a 60 per cent chance of showers with a high of 17 and low of 10 C.

“The Granby River near Grand Forks gauge is currently not reporting. The river is expected to have stabilized but remain high. Levels are expected to drop through today and into the rest of the week,” said the BC River Forecast Centre.

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The BC River Forecast Centre initially issued a high streamflow advisory for a number of rivers, including the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby Rivers and tributaries on May 8.

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“Several days of high temperatures has led to rapid melt of this season’s snow pack. River levels have been rising quickly in response to this melt,” read a release.

“River levels are expected to continue to increase through the remainder of the week, reaching the highest levels late on Friday or into Saturday,” the release went on to say.

Clouds and showers and slightly cooler temperatures are forecast for this weekend in Grand Forks and the BC River Forecast Centre said this might cause river levels to decrease slightly on Sunday.

Mainly sunny with a high of 29 C is forecast for Saturday and a high of 27 C, with a 40 per cent chance of showers, is forecast for Sunday according to Environment Canada.

“Environment Canada weather forecast is for the warm weather to hold through Saturday, with a cooling trend starting Sunday with the possibility of showers. Temperatures are expected to be in the low ’20s Wednesday through Friday next week,” explained Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue deputy regional fire chief/emergency program co-ordinator Dan Derby in a release.

“The River Forecast Centre provided the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) with the following summary this morning: Entering tail end of snow melt from hot weather, the rate of rise has slowed down and the Kettle and Granby Rivers are expected to pulse five to 10 cm over the weekend with the Kettle at a two-year return level and a possibility of the Granby going to a five-year return level.

“Systems are expected to stay 50 cm below 2006 levels. The high streamflow advisory for the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby Rivers and tributaries will stay in effect ’til Monday. Dependent on what level of participation we receive in the Boundary basin, there may be  a possibility of going to a flood advisory early next week.”

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The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Emergency Program continues to be activated at Level 1, allowing staff to respond to requests for sandbags from residents RDKB emergency program co-ordinator Dan Derby said last week, adding that RDKB staff will continue to monitor river levels, forecasts and advisories and provide updates.

Derby recommends residents stay away from river banks as well.

“High water levels can push logs and other large debris into the river increasing the danger to people,” he said.

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