British Columbia

Unsettled B.C. weather prompts flash floods, complicates river level forecasts

The city of Prince George is the latest to feel the lash of torrential downpours linked to ongoing unsettled weather across British Columbia.

Intense thunderstorm flooded several streets in downtown Prince George

A flooded street is seen from city hall in Prince George, B.C., after heavy rain on Tuesday. (Kate Partridge/CBC)

Prince George is the latest city to feel the lash of torrential downpours linked to ongoing unsettled weather across British Columbia.

Environment Canada is reporting about six millimetres of rain fell at the Prince George airport Tuesday, but doesn't mention the localized, intense thunderstorm that deluged the city's downtown core, flooding several streets.

RCMP said its frontline officers had to help after "several vehicles" got stranded in the water in the industrial area off Queensway and on Winnipeg Street. Four separate roads were closed as crews worked to clear the excess water.

A similar downpour forced officials in Penticton to briefly declare a local state of emergency on Monday as a sudden rainstorm over the Okanagan city caused flash flooding and prompted the evacuation of 16 properties.

The River Forecast Centre has since downgraded Mission Creek from a flood watch to a high streamflow advisory as levels of that Kelowna-area waterway subside, but advisories remain posted across most of southeastern and southern B.C., including the Fraser River from Quesnel to the ocean.

Flood watches cover sections of the Thompson, South Thompson, Chilcotin and Nechako rivers and a flood warning is still up for parts of the Quesnel River near Quesnel.

In the Lower Mainland, an evacuation alert for Barnston Island in the Fraser River near Surrey was rescinded on Wednesday. Water levels in the river had dropped enough to reduce flood risk, officials said.

Environment Canada is calling for thundershowers through the day in many B.C. regions and forecasters say that creates the potential for more localized flooding, but exact locations and intensity of rainfall are uncertain.

With files from CBC News

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