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Peace Region “dodged a bullet” after weekend rainfall

Windrem Creek near the Chetwynd post office during a period of heavy rain in May 2017. Photo by Peace FM/Facebook.

CHETWYND, B.C. – The Peace Region has emerged practically unscathed after heavy rains and melting snow in the Rocky Mountains raised alarm bells about possible flooding in the region last weekend.

The head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre Dave Campbell says that though the region saw anywhere from 30 to 110 mm of rain, the effects of all that water were relatively limited. Campbell says that several factors contributed to the near-miss, including cold temperatures that limited snow melt in the mountains, where snow was falling instead of rain. Campbell says that the fact that the rain was spread out over two days also helped to limit the rise in river levels.

Despite this, Campbell added that many rivers across the Peace are still seeing high streamflow amounts, with the Beatton River in particular seeing its highest recorded level ever on Sunday. He says that many rivers will take a number of days to return to normal flow volumes.

Chetwynd, which was facing a repeat of last year’s flooding, ended up also being spared after that community saw less rain than initially forecast. The District of Chetwynd’s Director of Engineering and Public Works Paul Gordon says that his community “dodged a bullet.” He says that only minor damage was done by the fast-moving waters near Spirit Park, where Windrem Creek’s armour stone was washed away.

The Peace River Regional District’s Chief Administrative Officer Chris Cvik says that so far, he has not heard that the Regional District has received any word of damage from residents.