The weather might not be stellar, but at least the Island isn’t sharing the fate of other B.C. communities plagued by flooding.
Overflowing rivers have wreaked havoc across B.C., but the Island’s inland waters are calm and will likely stay that way for the rest of the summer.
With an average snowpack in the mountains and mild temperatures, David Jones, Environment Canada meteorologist, said with no hot spells or major rain events on the way, there is not much chance of sudden run-off that could cause rivers to overflow.
“There’s nothing on the horizon here, weather-wise, that’s going to trigger anything,” Jones said. “Just crappy summer weather, that’s all.”
Ritchie Fulla, general foreman of city waterworks, said the snowpack above the Nanaimo River south fork, which feeds water to the South Fork Dam and Jump Creek Dam reservoirs, is normal for this time of year and melting slowly.
“We were about 20 to 25 per cent above average in April, May, but the weather patterns we’ve had have brought nice, slow melt,” Fulla said. “Right now I’ve just about got full storage for the summer and I don’t foresee anything from the South Fork that would impact anything downstream.”
Fulla said mainland rivers, such as the Fraser, have a much larger watershed to gather from, which can make them more prone to flooding when weather conditions upstream combine to produce rapid snow melt.
Even if there were a sudden melt of the snowpacks above the Nanaimo River north and south fork watersheds and Fulla had to release water from city’s dams, the resulting flow in the lower Nanaimo River would not amount to more than there would be from a normal winter storm.
“Looking at it right now, I can’t foresee any issue,” he said.