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REPORTING · 18th June 2012
Merv Ritchie
As the snow pack levels completely collapse and river levels drop, some residents will have yet another year for preparations.

Read a five year history of worries here

The weather has been almost ideal for reducing the potential threat of a devastating flood season for Dutch Valley residents. The snow pack in the high back country was almost as high as the highest recorded this past winter. The melt has been gradual enough, interspersed hot and cool days; the river levels did not reach flood heights.

At one point during the past two weeks it looked threatening but as the level has dropped again, with all indications from the snow pack monitoring stations showing a marked decline, the potential for flooding this year has all but diminished.

However, there is not one single monitoring station, either snow or water on the Kalum River system and the mountains north west of Terrace. This always provides for some interesting and unexpected developments. The mountain peaks to the west of Terrace; Sleeping Beauty, Mt Kenney, Alice Peak, Mt Treston, Mt Morris, Mt William Brown, Mt Hadden, Mt Conroy, Morton Peak, Mt Leighton, Mt Hudema, Mt Warne, Mt Voshell, Oscar Peak and Mt Poupard, are all unknown quantities. Snow off of all these mountains and associated glaciers can and will impact the Kalum River significantly. The snow pack remaining on these mountains is generally much greater and melts later in the year. There is nothing to indicate what remains today. Even the snow pack monitoring station in the Cedar Kiteen measures snow pack more associated with the Nass River. The Kalum River hydrological system, which has been eroding Dutch Valley, is unmonitored.

We do know from the news regarding the recent helicopter crash on the west side of Sleeping Beauty, the mountains are still experiencing avalanches and extreme weather.

It is for this reason, higher coastal mountain ranges and glaciers, the Kitsumkalum River experiences two high water episodes every year, June and September. The residents of Dutch Valley will need to remain vigilant.
Usk water monitoring station reveals a settling Skeena River threat
Usk water monitoring station reveals a settling Skeena River threat
The Kalum River cleared the banks here just enough to deposit silt
The Kalum River cleared the banks here just enough to deposit silt
There are no snow monitoring stations west of Terrace, the region which empties into the Kalum River
There are no snow monitoring stations west of Terrace, the region which empties into the Kalum River
Snow pack levels had dropped significantly in the headwaters by June 17
Snow pack levels had dropped significantly in the headwaters by June 17