Flooding

Information on how our Highways Department and maintenance contractors work to keep our roads safe during floods and freshet season, monitoring conditions, informing the public and repairing any damage.

Fighting a Flood: Highway 20, One Year Later

Fighting a Flood - Highway 20, One Year Later

Just 12 months ago, Highway 20, between Tatla Lake and Bella Coola, was reopened after more than 200 millimetres of rain (a once in every 200 year event) fell over a 36-hour period, flooding the area. The route was impassable at 12 locations. Seventeen days later it was reopened. And, if you drove over it today, you’d see new blacktop coating the damaged sections, stream channels and crossings re-established and traffic signs, once half covered with water, standing tall...

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Resisting the Rising Waters – Flood Preparation and Response

In a recent post, we’ve talked about spring freshet. But what happens when water levels start to rise? As we mentioned in the previous article, the River Forecast Centre monitors snow levels throughout the winter and, as the weather warms, we generally have a good idea of how much potential there is for flooding in different parts of B.C. That knowledge helps crews determine the amount of sand, gravel and rock that may be needed to protect our transportation...

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What is a Freshet? Hint: It’s Not an Air Freshener

So, what is freshet? While it sounds like it could be a brand of scented cleaner or facial tissue, freshet is the snow melt that typically occurs from April to July, in B.C. Freshet can become a problem when winter snow packs melt rapidly, overwhelming stream channels and creating floods. Happily, freshet flooding can usually be forecast by monitoring snow packs and weather, and examining stream capacity data. In the event of a flood threat or actual flood, the...

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