Flood risk advisory issued for Nicola Lake in B.C. Interior

Flood risk advisory issued for Nicola Lake in B.C. Interior

The province says Nicola Lake could be at risk of flooding if current warm, wet weather continues.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations issued a news release Wednesday morning saying water levels in the lake — which is near Merritt, south of Kamloops — have been rising for the last 15 days due to relatively wet April weather.

"We're starting to get spring melt. It's been long and cold, as everybody knows, and it's just building up as it comes on. It's a little early but not that bad," said Jeptha Ball, a flood safety engineer with the ministry.

"The April 1 media river forecast was about 150 percent [volume] of normal, which is borderline on some of the highest [volume] we've seen for April through July."

According to the ministry, the water level in the lake is one metre below the level at which minor flooding of low-lying areas around the lake occurs. The lake's water level is rising about 2.5 centimetres a day and Ball says it could be 20 to 30 days before problems appear.

Ball says there are no dwellings low enough to be impacted by anticipated flooding but beachfronts, landscaped areas and shorelines could be affected.

He says there could be unexpected erosion of streams flowing out of the lake and children, pets and livestock should be kept away from stream banks.

With files from Matt Meuse