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Sit out on a bank of sand, and watch the river flow

If it’s May in Prince George, the water is rising.

It’s an annual rite of spring, as the snows melt at higher elevations and run down to the rivers which flow through the city.

So much depends on the weather in the spring. If the temperatures get high fairly quickly, the snow melts faster and more water comes down to the rivers, resulting in a fast and high flow.

If we get a nice, slow, even temperature rise, the snow melts more slowly, and the rivers can often handle the steady increase in flow.

So far this year, it’s looking like it could be a high-water spring.

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George has already sent out advisories to residents on dealing with possible flooding, everything from having an emergency pack ready in case you need to evacuate quickly to warnings to approach streams and rivers with caution, since the banks could give way.

I remember some years ago, when I was working on the newspaper in one community, there was a high risk of flooding. I asked one of the higher-ups in emergency services which areas were at risk.

His response was fairly simple.

“If you live on a street which starts with the word ‘River’, you could be at risk.”

It’s something some people apparently can’t grasp. Yes, it’s nice to have riverfront property, but being on the riverfront also means an increased risk of flooding each spring.

At least so far this spring it doesn’t look like Prince George will be in the same situation as Vanderhoof some years ago, when the floodwaters were rising, and there was also a large forest fire not too far from the community.

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