British Columbia

Heavy rains increase flood risk for northeastern B.C.

Officials say the Pine River and its tributaries are approaching levels similar to June 2016, when parts of Dawson Creek were washed out.

Officials say Pine River approaching levels similar to June 2016, when parts of Dawson Creek were washed out

A map from Environment Canada showing heavy rainfall — up to 70 mm — for some areas around MacKenzie, B.C., and Fort St. John. (Environment Canada)

Officials in B.C.'s northeast are warning that continued heavy rainfall could result in flooding.

The warning from the province's River Forecast Centre comes as areas around Fort St. John and Dawson Creek had up to 70 millimetres of rain overnight on Friday.

A further 25-50 mm is forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

Officials say all the water has caused a rapid rise in the Pine River and tributaries to levels like those seen in June of 2016.

That's when flooding forced 60 people to flee their homes in Dawson Creek as flood waters cut the community in half and washed out bridges.

A white sedan teeters on the edge of what would have been the sidewalk of Eighth Street, a thoroughfare that connects the north and south ends of Dawson Creek, B.C., during flooding in 2016. (Brett Hyde/CBC)

Caribou Road Services Ltd., which helps maintain roads in region says three roads had water wash over them in Dawson Creek Friday night, but are being repaired.

The River Forecast Centre has a flood watch in place for the Pine River, which means levels are rising and could exceed banks.

Stay away from riverbanks

There is a high stream flow advisory for the Peace region around Fort St. John, including the Kiskatinaw River, Pouce Coupe River, Dawson Creek, and tributaries.

That means rivers are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected.

The forecast centre is warning the public to stay away from rivers and unstable riverbanks during this time.