The Fraser River is rising quickly. (The Chilliwack Progress)

Floods could have ‘severe impact’ on unprotected banks of Fraser River

Concerns are for parts of Surrey, Langley, Chilliwack and islands not protected by a dike

The province is warning anyone living near the Fraser River but not protected by a dike to watch for rising flood waters.

David Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre, said flows could rise up to 12,000 cubic metres at Hope or to 6.5 metres at Mission by the end of the week.

“That’s similar to flows we saw in 2012,” said Campbell, adding that those levels could rise even higher over the next couple weeks.

“We’re expecting flows on the lower Fraser that we really haven’t experienced in many decades.”

READ MORE: River watch continues in Mission

READ MORE: Katzie First Nation seeks sandbagging volunteers in Langley, Pitt Meadows and Surrey

The diking network along the Fraser, in Surrey, Langley and into the Fraser Valley, are designed to withstand the 1894 “flood of record” in the region.

“That’s 8.9 metres [high] at Mission, plus half a metre of freeboard above that,” said Campbell. “We’re not expecting anything near to that level.”

Currently, parts of rural Langley, Abbotsford and Barnston Island are under evacuation alert. No one is under any evacuation order.

VIDEO: Flood evacuation alert issued in Northwest Langley

Across the province, about 3,600 people are under evacuation order and 7,100 are on alert.

Prolonged periods of extreme heat are leading to “significant snowmelt and flood risk right across the province,” said Campbell.

“The prolonged nature and severity of the temperatures we’ve seen are unprecedented.”

Emergency Management BC has activated all its regional emergency operation centres, including one in Surrey.

Executive director Chris Duffy said the government has reached out the other provinces and Ottawa for assistance.

The Trudeau government said it is sending about 150 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to B.C., although they are being deployed in the interior to help with the floods ravaging the Grand Forks area.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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