Atmospheric river causes two-foot surge in Coldwater River levels in Merritt

River rises more than 2 feet

The Coldwater River through Merritt rose more than two feet in a matter of hours Tuesday as an atmospheric river continued to pound British Columbia with rain.

According to Environment Canada data, the river surged from 1.1 metres to 1.8 metres on Tuesday before beginning to dip slightly at about 10 p.m. That represents an increase of 28 inches.

The water level shot up 26 inches in the six hours between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The last time the Coldwater River measured 1.8 metres was during spring freshet in May.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre does not expect the Coldwater River to rise much further, if at all, in the coming days.

An atmospheric river has been pumping precipitation into B.C. since Monday, when 49.8 millimetres of rain fell in Vancouver, marking the wettest day in the city in two years.

Kennedy Lake on Vancouver Island recorded 132 millimetres in a 24-hour span, and more than 100 millimetres fell on the Sunshine Coast.

Heavy rain from the same storm is causing some flooding in the Puget Sound area in Washington state.

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