The Telkwa River fills up as BC Hydro crews re-enforce the tower that nearly collapsed last spring. The lines it carries supply power to much of the Northwest. (BC Hydro photo)

The Telkwa River fills up as BC Hydro crews re-enforce the tower that nearly collapsed last spring. The lines it carries supply power to much of the Northwest. (BC Hydro photo)

Flood warning downgraded to flood watch

Hydro tower re-enforced on Telkwa River and Ebenezer no long on evacuation alert as rivers recede.

A second crest again had water coming over the banks along parts of the Bulkley River over the long weekend, but flooding was not as bad as it could have been.

Cooler temperatures during the latter part of the weekend and a limited amount of rain slowed the snow melt and kept the river at or below 20-year event levels.

David Campbell, head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre, said last Thursday the heat this spring and the related snow melt has been extraordinary across the province.

“I would urge the public to exercise extreme caution near any waterway across the province. Banks can be unstable and water swift,” said Campbell.

The Bulkley River was still in a state of flood warning until Tuesday morning, meaning water was not staying in its banks. That warning was not expected to be gone this week, but weather conditions helped downgrade the status from warning to watch Tuesday.

The evacuation alert has also ended for Ebenezer Flats.

“We’re getting to the stage where we’re bouncing around at peak levels. There still is snow in the basin and each time we’re getting a warming, the levels are cranking up, and then when it drops, it drops,” explained Campbell.

“Despite that short-term drop, we could see it come up again, and of course rainfall would always be a concern for more rapid raises … We wouldn’t suggest that we’re completely out of the woods for the Bulkley.”

Snow surveyors were out late last week. Snow levels are still high at mid and high elevations.

“Until that snow gets depleted, which will probably be another week or two, [the Bulkley] will still be very vulnerable to this weather,” said Campbell.

Trails near Riverside Park and access to the Fall Fairgrounds were still closed. Also closed were the 2100 blocks of Riverside Drive and Main Street.

Hydro tower re-enforced

The transmission tower carrying power to much of the Northwest west of Telkwa that nearly collapsed last spring was re-enforced last week as the Telkwa River threatened it once again.

BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Mosure said via email that work was done last summer to keep the tower from toppling, but proactive measures were taken this spring with so much runoff. More protection was given to the guy wires and structure itself, as well as the access road leading to the structure.

“Our Transmission Engineering and Environmental support groups coordinated and rock began being trucked to site [May 15] to fortify one of our structures, as well as our access road out to that structure – both critical assets for us,” said Mosure.

Smithers Interior News

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