Friday, June 05, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rising waters on the Skeena and the flow of information from Ridley Terminals make for the key items in the Daily News on Thursday.

FLOODING ADVISORY OUT FOR THE SKEENA RIVER-- The ongoing heatwave in Prince Rupert, has provided for more than a concern about sunburn towards Terrace. With a week of extreme heat in the Terrace area, the fear of flooding has been outlined by various local officials in the area.

Regular readers of the blog have been following the updates on the status of the Skeena from our archived section for a number of days now (archives can be found here).

The Daily News featured the latest Skeena details as of Thursday, as the front page story (see story below)

Dan Veniez has spent a good amount of time putting forward his vision to the National media of Ridley Terminals as a private operation, with a backlash towards that plan growing across the northwest, he took his campaign to local media outlets on Thursday, both the Northern View and the Daily News had items highlighting the thoughts of the Chairman of Ridley Terminals. We provide further details on those stories from a piece on the blog, found here.

The Sports section featured more details of the Skeena Relay as well as a preview of the Eagle Archers and their upcoming annual 3 D shootout.

Total pages in the Thursday edition (14)

Front page, headline story:

By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Page one

Rupert-based owners of low-lying property along the Skeena are warned that there is a significant risk of flooding at some point this weekend or early next week and they should take necessary precautions.

On Tuesday, Terrace reached high temperatures of 28 Celsius, just one off the record. While Rupertites were out enjoying the sunny glow, the snow pack was melting rapidly across the region. raising the possibility of floods on the Skeena and Nass rivers.

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine is taking the situation very seriously and is informing locals about the potential problems should a flood occur.

"The situation right now is that the snow pack is at 140 per cent of where it is normally at this time of year because of a cool April and May," said Peter Weeber. "So with this temperature, with the way it is right now, we are expecting low levels [of the Skeena] to rise rapidly over the next four to-five days."

The areas of particular concern right now are: New Remo, Old Remo, Brauns Island, Dutch Valley, Queensway, Hazelton, Copper River area, Kitselas Backroad, Usk, Cedarville and Cedarville Backroad, Kitwanga, and Greenville.

While Weeber said it was hard to put a number or timeline to any possible flooding, what people need to know is; if they have property on a flood plain then it is time to start looking at what has been done in the past to protect them.

Weeber referenced 2007 when the Northwest had a flood, causing mudslides on Highway 16 and flooding Terrace.

"It's different in that last time we didn't experience a heat wave. This time, high snow packs and temperature can bring it down fairly quickly, so we could very well see the river rise quicker than it did.

"If you had problems then you can potentially have problems now," said Weeber. "My recommendation is to start making preparations based on that." .

"If it continues on like it is, it is going to be a very sunny day when it starts flooding," he added.

The provincial government finished its study of the snow pack on June 1. Data from 25 snow courses and 58 snow pillows around the province have been used to form the basis for the following reports.

The report goes on to say, "for the Northern BC, with above normal snowpacks and delayed melt, the weather this week will result in higher than normal peak water levels. These include the Skeena River (Terrace), Nass River, Liard River, Upper Fraser River (Prince George) and others."

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