Crews with the City of Prince George and Prince George Fire Rescue Service continue to monitor ice conditions and water levels in the Nechako and Fraser Rivers. Monitoring will continue at regular intervals through the weekend. Officials with the province are also monitoring the situation.
During a helicopter flight at noon on December 16, stationary ice on the Nechako River was seen to start just past the Foothills Bridge, about 10km upstream from the confluence with the Fraser. On the Fraser, stationary ice is evident down to Fort George Canyon. The total length of this ice is roughly 35 kilometres. Despite the extent of ice, patches of open water are visible, and water levels appear to be dropping.
The water flow in the Nechako River is approximately 200 cubic metres per second, which is about twice the normal volume for this time of year. Officials with the province are indicating that the elevated water levels are primarily as a result of heavy fall rains in the Stuart – Takla watershed northwest of Prince George. They also report that discharge from the Nechako Reservoir is as low as it can be during the winter.
City crews have been monitoring a groundwater piping system under River Road that provides evidence of water levels below the surface. Currently, no groundwater has been evident in the pipe.
Cottonwood Island Park remains open at this time, but residents are advised to use caution in the park and to be aware of the presence of river ice. A section of the Heritage River Trail from the Cameron Street Bridge to Kiwanis Park near the boat launch remains closed to the public.
Late yesterday, the City of Prince George activated a level-one emergency operations centre (EOC) and notified Emergency Management BC.
The EOC remains at level-one. A level-two activation will be called when and if EOC staff decide the risk level has reached a point that continuous resources must be deployed, including the 24 hour staffing of the EOC.
Residents are advised to monitor local news outlets for updates and to follow the City of Prince George on facebook.com/cityofpg, on twitter @cityofpg, and on Instagram @cityofpg.
Further updates will be provided when new information becomes available.