UPDATE - The Skeena monitoring station at Usk records, as of 7 am, a height of 9.868 mt. This demonstrates a rise of 10 cm (one tenth of a meter) in 8 hours. New reference material added at end of story.
Flooding has begun on outlying areas along the Skeena River. Whitebottom Road is covered in water at the campsite near the Lakelse River Bridge. This area is out towards Old Remo on the south banks of the Skeena River. The flooding is likely due to the Lakelse River being unable to discharge its flow quickly into the high Skeena River. The Skeena is reported to be only a few centimetres below the road level.
While other areas of the Province deal with earlier flooding, particularly the Bulkley near Smithers this past week, residents have been wondering and watching the Skeena River.
Of particular interest is the snow pack remaining in the mountains with the automatic recording systems in place. The last measurement, as of this writing, was taken on Thursday May 26. The three stations directly impacting the Terrace area are the stations located at the headwaters of the Kalum River, the headwaters of the Skeena River and the mountains east of the Copper River south of the Hazeltons.
The Kalum River station at Cedar-Kiteen demonstrates the snow pack has significantly dropped and is likely, after this warm weekend, all but disappeared.
The Skeena Headwaters is a bit of a different story. As of Thursday the majority of the snow pack remained and had only recently begun to drop although the snow pack is dead on for an average year.
The Copper River drainage into the Skeena was still close to its peak and slightly more than the average snowpack remained.
For reference and historical purposes we gathered the charts from 2007, the year of the flood, and compared the data then to the data available today.
Although we have an average snow pack in the mountains feeding the Skeena, the Skeena is currently quite high. It all depends on the weather. Very warm weather accompanied with rain may make this interesting.
In 2007 Ferry Island began flooding on June 3.
Today we see flooding begin on the low areas at Lakelse River along the Skeena River.
There has been no advisories issued as of this writing.
On June 2nd 2007 the Environment Canada Skeena River monitoring station went down and the river height and volume data was unavailable. We cautioned the public to be aware as the snow pack was still high and provided historical data with this storyTHE STRAIGHT GOODS ON THE PAST FLOODS from June 2, 2007
. This article details the volume of the water in the Skeena today exceeds the volume of the flood years of 1964 and 1972. With a rapid snow melt now there could be trouble.
When the monitoring station at Usk came back online the next day the data had changed significantly and the Terrace Daily was the first to issue the Flood warning with this blatant headlineFLOOD FLOOD FLOOD – ARE YOU LISTENING
Comparing the existing current snowpack to that of 2007 - Note the dark blue line is the current year measurement
Comparing the hieght of the Skeena today to the same time in 2007 just prior to the snow pack melting. Note the changed colours. In 2007 the red line was water discharge whereas today is water level.