NEWS

Heavy Rain In B.C. Triggers Mudslide, Flood Watch

06/06/2012 05:30 EDT | Updated 08/06/2012 05:12 EDT

A flood watch remains in place for rivers and creeks in the B.C. interior after heavy rain raised water levels in the Kootenay, Columbia and Peace regions, with more precipitation on the way.

Rainfall warnings are in effect for the Peace River, Prince George, West Kootenay, East Kootenay and Central Okanagan areas.

According to Environment Canada, the Fort Nelson area is expected to get the most rain, with up to 80 millimeters falling by Thursday, and 20 to 50 millimeters forecast for Prince George and Fort St. John.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre says a large-scale low pressure system is hanging over much of the province and Alberta, and river levels will rise as rain persists.

"Precipitation forecasts are similar to observed precipitation during flood events that occurred in the Peace region in 2002 and 2011," said the centre in its flood watch advisory.

"Flood conditions are expected throughout the Peace Region and Northern Rockies, including the Pine, Halfway, Kiskatinaw, Moberly, Sikanni Chief, and Muskwa Rivers, as well as other tributary river systems throughout the area."

The centre says the Elk River, near Fernie, Slocan River, near Crescent Valley, Duhamel Creek above Diversions, Illecillewaet River at Greely and Kicking Horse River at Golden and surrounding rivers are also flowing higher and faster than normal.

It has also issued a streamflow advisory for rivers in the South Interior, South Thompson, Okanagan-Kettle regions, as well as for the North Thompson River.

Mudslide blocks Highway 1

The wet weather has also caused a mudslide along Highway 1 between Revelstoke and Golden.

Rock and debris has severed the highway through Glacier National Park and it's not expected to be cleared until at least 6 p.m. PT.

In the meantime, drivers are being advised to detour via Highway 3, but the Ministry of Transportation is warning motorists to expect heavy traffic and possible long waits at the inland ferry routes.