With the arrival of the “first in a series of storms” on the south coast, the BC River Forecast Center (RFC) issued flood watch for the south coast, including Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) rates the upcoming storm as a low risk, “which means no major flooding is expected, but minor flooding in low areas is possible,” a door said. word.
âStaff will reassess the flood risk rating at regular intervals until the storm has passed. “
To prepare for the storm, RMOW sets up a sandbag station at the municipal public works yard; ensure that ditches and culverts are clear; monitor Fitzsimmons Creek and associated tributaries; and keep emergency crews, equipment and operations center ready in the event of a flood.
The public can find updates on Whistler.ca and via social media, and residents are encouraged to sign up for WhistlerAlert, RMOW’s emergency notification system, at Whistler.ca/whistleralert.
The public is also asked to report urgent road or flood issues to the RMOW Roads Department at 604-935-8300 or [email protected]
“If the public sees a broken power line, they should stay at least 10m (length of a school bus) and immediately call 911,” the spokesperson said in an email.
For Fitzsimmons Creek, RFC forecasts indicate a potential of two floods over the next week.
“This particular forecast suggests that it could reach levels similar to those recorded on [Nov. 15], and it was really because of three successive storms, âsaid Jonathan Boyd, hydrologist at RFC.
With the current storm hitting the south coast, “I think the temperatures may be cool enough that this could be a fairly moderate response in many creeks and rivers,” Boyd said. “[But over] on weekends, freezing levels will increase, “with the possibility that” a very extreme event will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, “he added.
The RFC’s predictions show a potential for “two 100-year events occurring in a two-week period,” Boyd said.
The previous flood event on November 15 was the result of back-to-back storms, he said, “and this one has the potential to actually be three back-to-back storms.”
With that in mind, “there’s still a lot of uncertainty just because it’s so far into the future,” Boyd added.
Flood monitoring issued by the RFC is mainly in preparation for a storm expected this weekend, Boyd said, and river flows are expected to increase on Saturday, peaking on Sunday or Monday.
âIt’s a good idea to be aware of current conditions, and that the forecast is always changing,â Boyd said.
“So do your best to be up to date every day in terms of changing notifications or warnings.”
Find the latest river forecasts at gov.bc.ca/riverforecasts and stay up to date with weather alerts here.
Having seen what flash floods have done in other parts of British Columbia recently, it’s important to be prepared, Boyd said.
âThese destructive events can happen out of the blue, or seemingly with little awareness and notification, and we are entering a world that is changing with climate change,â he said.
âThe potential is that storms are going to be more frequent and more destructive, [so itâs important] to have a plan in a situation where highways are closed for more than a day.