The Similkameen River near Highway 3, approximately 15 east of Princeton. Photo Facebook

Regional district issues flood warning for Tulameen River Sunday night

Tulameen Fire Chief orders those in original evacuation zone to “leave now”

The BC River Forecast Centre has upgraded the Flood Watch advisory to Flood Warning for the Tulameen River in Electoral Area H.

A Flood Warning advisory means riverbanks are full and flooding will result in areas adjacent to affected rivers.

A Flood Watch advisory has also been issued for the Similkameen River in Electoral Area H. A Flood Watch advisory means riverbanks are nearing full and may result in flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers.

The second in a series of atmospheric rivers has resulted in increased temperatures during the storm event and likely contributed to snowmelt and rain-on-snow runoff. The river has risen quickly but is not expected to reach levels from the Nov. 13-15 event although it may still result in significant flooding.

Tulameen Fire Chief Jody Woodford said the atmospheric river systems are making it impossible to predict water flow direction, water levels, and potential damage.

“There is no infrastructure to divert water flows and control the river’s path. The largest storm is to hit our area by Tuesday. Add to it the already high water levels it is going to be dangerous! If you are in the original evacuation zones from November 14 — You are Ordered to leave now!” said Woodford Sunday night.

Do not attempt to travel on water-covered or backcountry roads. Stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and other waterways, as well as potentially unstable riverbanks.

The Tulameen and Similkameen Rivers have been rising steadily throughout the day, Sunday Nov. 28. While Princeton’s dikes are presently holding, water is pooling close to the highway between Princeton and Hedley.

The water is lapping at the highway, near a dike which was destroyed in the flood Sunday, Nov. 14.

READ MORE: Highway 3 east of Princeton starting to flood