Freshet 2022

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Each year, Kamloops deals with the threat of flooding from the North and South Thompson Rivers. The flood potential in any given year depends on the snow pack level within watersheds, the rate of snow melt in spring, and the presence of severe weather during the melt.

The 2022 freshet season has brought with it some significant challenges. Historically high snow packs have been significantly delayed in melting due to a cooler than average spring. This delayed snow melt has left the rivers extremely high, well into June, and increased our vulnerability to severe weather events.

Concerning weather events that could cause river levels to rise rapidly include:

  • a streak of 4–5 days above seasonal average temperatures,
  • a severe rain event with more than 30 mm of rain, or
  • a synchronization of the peaking of both rivers.

The City's freshet preparedness team has been meeting since February and coordinating with the Province to develop a sophisticated flood response plan. The city is well prepared to execute a response that will accomplish the British Columbia Emergency Management System response goals. The City has been making continuous improvements to flood protection structures, including recent work in Riverside Park and on McArthur Island, which should now withstand an up to one in 20-year flood event.


Each year, Kamloops deals with the threat of flooding from the North and South Thompson Rivers. The flood potential in any given year depends on the snow pack level within watersheds, the rate of snow melt in spring, and the presence of severe weather during the melt.

The 2022 freshet season has brought with it some significant challenges. Historically high snow packs have been significantly delayed in melting due to a cooler than average spring. This delayed snow melt has left the rivers extremely high, well into June, and increased our vulnerability to severe weather events.

Concerning weather events that could cause river levels to rise rapidly include:

  • a streak of 4–5 days above seasonal average temperatures,
  • a severe rain event with more than 30 mm of rain, or
  • a synchronization of the peaking of both rivers.

The City's freshet preparedness team has been meeting since February and coordinating with the Province to develop a sophisticated flood response plan. The city is well prepared to execute a response that will accomplish the British Columbia Emergency Management System response goals. The City has been making continuous improvements to flood protection structures, including recent work in Riverside Park and on McArthur Island, which should now withstand an up to one in 20-year flood event.


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Page last updated: 05 Jul 2022, 02:04 PM