Several areas of British Columbia were warned to watch for possible flooding Thursday as fast melting snow in the province's mountains caused rivers to swell.

A state of emergency has been declared in Prince George where a dozen families are on evacuation alert. Some areas around Prince George are already underwater.

B.C.'s River Forescast Centre is also warning of high river flows in the Smithers and Chetwynd regions.

The largest area of potential flooding impact is in the central and southern interior. For example, the river flow in the Hope region is very high and is expected to peak at or above last years high water mark later this week.

Water levels are also on the rise in the Lower Mainland. A veteran Fraser River boat captain says that river is rising faster than he's ever seen.

"Well the river has risen very, very sharply over the last four or five days probably quicker than I've ever seen it rise in my 19, 20 years of working in this area,'' said Capt. Dave Miller.

The Fraser River's water level has risen from 2 metres to 5.2 metres within the last few days as a result of a widespread spring melt in the region.

"Normally we see a gradual rise where it goes from two to three to four over a two week period - this has happened in four or five days which is unusual,'' he said.

The albion ferry has had to enforce a five tonne weight restriction on vehicles - that's the first stage in its flood contingency plan.

Vehicles weighing more than five tonnes are not permitted to board the Lower Mainland's Albion Ferry, east of the Port Mann Bridge, on Thursday as a result of rising water levels in the Fraser River. That's the first stage in its flood contingency plan

The Albion Ferry serves B.C. commuters crossing the Fraser River between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on the north side of the mainland, and Langley and Surrey on the south side.

If the river continues to rise, trucks weighing one tonne or more would not be permitted to use the ferry. The third and final stage would be a complete suspension of all ferry operations.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Reshmi Nair.