City of Kamloops Prepared for Spring Freshet

Release date: 
April 15, 2020

Kamloops, BC - The City is currently monitoring river flows and modelling information from the BC River Forecast Centre. The modelling shows that we can expect exceptionally high water this year. The City has a well-developed flood-response plan and extensive data, which help to determine what actions need to be taken and when.

The flood-response plan has various pre-determined trigger points that will prompt preventative measures by the City. If warranted, the City will close the Rivers Trail between Riverside Park and Pioneer Park and the pier at Riverside Park, turn off pathway lighting between the Riverside Park pier and Sandman Centre, and cover catch basins in low-lying areas with large flood-protection bags to prevent river water from backing up onto roadways.

“The modelling predicts that we may see a one-in-20-year flood event this year,” said Greg Wightman, the City’s Utility Services Manager. “However, the City has an extensive plan and is working to prioritize actions.”

Residents in low-lying areas or along creeks are reminded to protect their properties. In the coming weeks, sand and sandbags will be available at the Barnhartvale Community Hall, the BC Wildlife Park, and several fire stations throughout the city. For sandbag locations and proper techniques for filling sandbags and creating sandbag dikes, please visit Kamloops.ca/Flooding. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, residents should bring their own shovels and abide by physical distancing guidelines while filling sandbags.

Residents who work alongside waterways, culverts, and riverbanks are asked to stay as far back from the banks as possible and to use extreme caution. Banks may be unstable as high-flowing water can cause erosion under the visible surface.

Boat launches will remain open unless rising waters make closures necessary; however, boaters should use extreme caution as there may be large amounts of debris in the water. Please limit your speed on waterways to avoid large wakes, which can contribute to bank erosion. As river levels continue to rise, boat passage under the South Thompson railway bridge may not be possible.

The City will continue to update residents on flood protection efforts as conditions change. Concerned residents should call 250-828-3461 or visit Kamloops.ca/Flooding for more information.