District of Mission builds temporary dike in anticipation of flooding
'We've been worried about the river a few years, but this year, it's unprecedented'
Along the banks of the Fraser River, staff from the District of Mission, B.C. are building temporary dikes in anticipation of potential flooding.
With the temporary structure in place, the water level would have to rise by more than nine metres before the river water spills over.
Early Saturday afternoon, the Mission Gauge — the indicator measuring the height of the Fraser River — showed it had risen to just under six metres. Six metres is the level at which flooding is considered possible in low lying, unprotected areas.
Cory Parsons, who owns The Hearth Shop about half a kilometre from the river, said he's begun the process of moving his inventory to the top floor of the business.
"We've been worried about the river a few years, but this year, it's unprecedented," he said.
"When they start building the temporary dike here, that's pretty concerning."
There are currently no evacuation alerts in place in Mission, though a number of businesses, including Tim Raw's garage, are on flood notice.
"Basically they're just warning us to have a plan. When the water starts coming in, get the equipment up, get the customers' cars out and have a plan for where to take them and put them, and don't wait for the last minute," said Raw.
Raw said he's not too concerned just yet, in part because he has insurance.
"We will get some water here, but chances of us having to shut down the business is pretty slim unless a break happens in the dikes," he said.
In Langley, 266 properties remain on evacuation alert.
Roeland Zwaag, director of public works for the City of Langley, said the good news is that the forecast for the next few days appears to be relatively steady.
"It all depends on how much rain falls over the next 24 hours, how much snow melts and how it will come in to the Fraser for us," he said.
"We're continuing to monitor on a daily basis, making sure no water is coming on to our roadways."
With files from Deborah Goble