FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – What a difference a month makes.
At this time last month the Peace River Regional District was dealing with wildfire evacuations north of Fort St. John, but now it’s dealing with widespread flooding south of the city, as the result of a rainstorm reminiscent of the one five years ago.
The local airport weather station confirms that not only were the June 15th rainfall and precipitation records broken yesterday, they were nearly doubled.
It has posted 49.6 mm as the Wednesday total, burying the previous 1996 record for the day of 25.8.
That also pushed the total for the first half of the month, to 76.8 mm, and well past the June norm of 65.6, but what happened in this area pales, by comparison to what occurred in the South Peace, especially in Chetwynd, where Mayor Merlin Nichols has declared a state of local emergency.
Environment Canada says by yesterday morning, Chetwynd had received 43.8mm, and then got another 50.8 during the day, before posting another 35 last night, putting the storm-to-date total at 129.6 mm.
In Dawson Creek, the Wednesday post was 89.8 mm, and across the South Peace, unlike what has occurred in this area where it has been lifted the rainfall warning is still in effect this morning. Dawson Creek is at a total of 105.6 mm this morning and some homes have been evacuated.
The Environment Canada estimate for Dawson Creek and Chetwynd today is 10 to 20 mm, with more wet snow over higher terrain in the Pine Pass, but the local estimate for today is only 5 to 10 mm, and not even close to the 1954 June 16th record, of 55.6 mm.
On the Alberta side of the border, the rainfall warning is also still in place for Grande Prairie, which posted 64.6 mm yesterday, but further north in Peace River, the storm barely made its presence felt with a total of only 19.2 mm
Back in Northeast BC, Fort Nelson escaped with 23.8 mm yesterday, but it is also under a rainfall warning this morning, and today’s forecast mirrors the one in South Peace, calling for 10 to 20 mm, with snow over higher terrain.