Chilliwack River rising quickly with heavy rain

Chilliwack SAR rep warns that water is an extremely dangerous environment

Chilliwack Search and Rescue officials are warning people to stay back from the fast moving Chilliwack-Vedder River right now. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)

Anytime there is moving water around Chilliwack that is more than knee-deep, it is powerful enough to knock you off your feet.

That’s a reminder from Doug Fraser, search manager with Chilliwack Search and Rescue.

Water levels in the Chilliwack-Vedder River above Slesse Creek spiked dramatically over the past 24 hours, so extra caution is required.

“There was a near vertical change in the river levels according to the gauge,” said Fraser, adding that the water will have risen by about a metre in by noon Tuesday.

That means there is added risk to be swept downstream for those who choose to recreate near the river.

“Anyone fishing should avoid wading out to a gravel bar when the weather is like this,” said Fraser. “They might not be able to wade back.”

Unfortunately there have been several fatal incidents over the years.

The most dangerous spots on the river have piles of debris or log jams built up.

Trees hanging over the river or partially submerged can also trap a person underwater. In areas where there are rapids, there are also holes that make it difficult for anyone to swim out of.

“Water can be an extremely dangerous environment,” said Fraser.

Chilliwack SAR members use the river gauge above Slesse Creek, which is also helpful for anyone considering kayaking or rafting down the river.

For more safety info check here.

READ MORE: Rain makes river rise


 

@chwkjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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