While flooding has been reported in the French Creek and Coombs areas, there is no imminent flooding concerns for the Nanaimo River, according to officials.
There were heavy rains over the weekend and as of Tuesday afternoon, Environment Canada’s website forecast rain throughout the week, but it isn’t expected to cause major problems.
“The current flow is about 200 cubic metres a second,” said Dave Campbell, head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre. “We were up to 450 or so on the weekend. At this point we’re expecting it probably to get back up to that 450 and probably a bit higher by early morning tomorrow … These aren’t particularly high flows.”
Karen Lindsay, City of Nanaimo emergency program manager, said the city is monitoring the river and there have been 20 millimetres of rain since this morning and while the streamflow is high, the city is not anticipating any major flooding.
City crews have been preparing, said Lindsay.
“The City of Nanaimo, prior to our rainy and our winter season, they do a lot of mitigation work in advance,” Lindsay said. “That includes clearing sewers and drains and the infalls and the outfalls and all that kind of stuff in preparation for this. Public works has somebody driving around looking at all the critical areas throughout the evening and monitoring it.
“So we just encourage residents as well, if you’re home and you see there’s, say, leaves or something covering the catch basin, just clear them off if [you’re] able to and we’ll continue watching it through the night.”
Still, it is recommend that people exercise caution near rivers.
“That’s the key,” said Campbell. “Obviously just being safe around the rivers … the river banks can be quite soft and unstable when we get these kind of flows. So while there might not be an imminent flood risk, which we issue advisories for, there’s always that public safety concern when flows are this high and dynamic and swift water and all that kind of stuff.”