British Columbia

B.C.'s Fraser Valley prepares for potential flooding

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the province is closely monitoring rising water levels on the Fraser River.

Residents advised to use caution along the Fraser River as B.C. River Forecast Centre issues advisory

An aerial photograph of the Fraser River near Chilliwack, B.C. (Shutterstock)

Residents in low-lying areas of the Fraser Valley are being told to prepare for potential flooding as water levels rise in the Fraser River.

While the majority of the province's severe flooding has taken place in the Interior, the South Coast is also at risk.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory for the lower Fraser River. The advisory means river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, although no major flooding is expected at this time.

Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the province has activated the Southwest Provincial Regional Emergency Centre in Surrey.

"We want to ensure that we're well-prepared, and as things happen in the coming weeks, as these temperatures stay high, we're able to ensure that flood plans are implemented as they should be," Farnworth said.

Many gauge locations along the river are at seasonal highs due to the warm weather, and with more hot weather in the forecast, rapid snowmelt could add to the water volume.

Ross Maki, a manager with the city of Port Coquitlam, says he is asking people to be aware of the current conditions on the Fraser River.

"We've got a huge stockpile of sandbags and sandbagging equipment. We're monitoring reports from the River Forecast Centre and participating in conference calls with Emergency Management BC," Maki said.

Farnworth said residents can create an emergency flood plan by visiting Prepared B.C.

With files from Belle Puri

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.