The Tuesday Daily News had a front page report on the fast flowing waters from the east and the troubles they were set to unleash on the Terrace and Nass areas.
Melting snow paving the way for chaos in region
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The waters of the Skeena and Nass Rivers are expected to pour over the banks in the coming week, with flooding expected in low-lying areas.
On Monday, the B.C. Environment River Forecast Centre issued flood warnings - the two rivers have or soon will exceed their banks. The Skeena, they noted has risen between six and eight centimetres in the past 24 hours, with flooding expected along unprotected areas of the Skeena Valley. Earlier today, some homes in Terrace were already soaked by flood waters. And at 10 a.m. yesterday, the Skeena River at Usk (near Terrace) was at a discharge rate of 5,900 cubic metres per second,
The Nass has been rising at three centimeters an hour for the past 24 hours and as of 10 a.m. yesterday, the Nass River above Shumal Creek was at a discharge of 4,000 cubic metres per second, and rising.
The Ministry of Transportation and Highways announced this morning the Nisga'a Highway was closed in both directions from Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City) to Greenville (36 km) because of a wash-out.
Allan Chapman of the River Forecast Centre said the rapid rise in water levels in the Skeena during the past two days was a result of the warm weather.
"The Skeena is an extraordinarily flashy river that can rise very quickly," said Chapman. "The extreme rapid rise was due to heat."
Weather reached the high 20s in Terrace on the weekend and rain is expected during the next few days. When the temperature cools, the flow is also expected to slow. However, Chapman noted the Skeena has the potential to see the largest flows ever measured in the next two weeks as the record level snow packs melt off.
Jim Whyte, director of operations for the Provincial Emergency Program, warned people to stay away from river banks and to be cautious driving on back roads in high risk areas.
"Our primary concern is for public safety," he said. "It's interesting to look at and observe but make sure you are well out of harm's way when you are doing this."
Local governments are coordinating the flood response. The city of Terrace and Kitimat Stikine Regional District have set up 24-hour information lines.
Meanwhile, the mudslide 35 kilometres east Terrace continues to keep the Highway closed, with scheduled temporary openings for guided traffic from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.