The Somass River is swollen by rain in this November 2017 photo. The BC River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for the Somass and Sproat Rivers for Jan. 27–29 weekend. NEWS FILE PHOTO

BC River Forecast Centre issues advisories for Somass, Sproat rivers

Heavy rainfall forecasted for weekend could cause flooding

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory for the Sproat and Somass rivers in the Alberni Valley region.

An “atmospheric river storm event” is expected to impact Vancouver Island on Sunday and early Monday, according to the forecast centre. Communities along the east coast of the Island as well as the Alberni and Cowichan valleys can expect heavy rainfall ranging from 50-160mm. Higher amounts are expected where upslope conditions occur, and slightly lower amounts along the eastern slopes of Vancouver Island. Temperatures are forecast to increase, and freezing levels will rise to 2000m. Snowmelt from mid-elevation may add to runoff for this event.

River levels are expected to rise through Sunday, with peak levels expected on Monday and potentially into Tuesday. Rivers flowing out of lakes are particularly susceptible due to the slow recession from last weekend’s storm event; these include the Somass River and the Cowichan River.

Hugh Braker, emergency management spokesperson for the Tseshaht First Nation, which has its headquarters on the banks of the Somass River, is advising people living along rivers or creeks in the Alberni Valley to prepare for possible evacuation of livestock or property. The Somass has been the scene of two major flooding events in the past few years.

“Storm paths can, of course, change. However, at this time, we appear to be in the crosshairs of a significant precipitation and snow melt event,” Braker wrote in a Facebook post.

The City of Port Alberni’s public works yard usually has a sandbag station set up in a corner of its parking lot on Sixth Avenue for people to fill their own sandbags.

Braker said he would be updating the flooding situation along the Somass and Sproat rivers via social media as he receives information.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre’s advisory also covers eastern Vancouver Island including Englishman River, Tsolum River, Oyster River and tributaries around Campbell River, Comox Valley, Parksville and surrounding areas.

Advisories are also in place for southern Vancouver Island for the Chemainus River, Cowichan River, Koksilah River and surrounding areas.

Just Posted

BUSINESS BEAT: New entrepreneurs investing in Port Alberni

Portal Curios and Oddities opening in Harbour Quay

Saanich man, passenger escape injury in Mt Arrowsmith rollover

A visitor from the South Island escaped injury after rolling his SUV… Continue reading

Port Alberni residents, city council divided on rules for cannabis stores

Public speaks up about pot at committee of the whole meeting

Port Alberni RCMP officers honoured for bravery

Five faced ‘violent, deranged’ male during break-in

Alberni Valley Bulldogs battle against top teams in the BCHL

Bulldogs split weekend games against Spruce Kings, Chiefs

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Most Read