What happens in the upper Fraser River watersheds can affect the lower part of the river in communities like Chilliwack.

What happens in the upper Fraser River watersheds can affect the lower part of the river in communities like Chilliwack.

City readies Chilliwack for melting snowpack

Properties outside dike protection in Chilliwack could be affected if there's a sudden heat wave or heavy rain in the coming weeks.

Chilliwack properties outside city dike protection could be affected if there’s a sudden heat wave or heavy rainfall during the 2012 spring freshet.

That was the message at city hall Tuesday in the wake of news from B.C. River Forecast Centre that the overall snowpack is higher than normal in the Fraser River watershed.

The high snowpack is looking comparable to the 2007 situation, when many homes and businesses were sandbagged against the threat of flooding.

The overall Fraser basin snowpack is at 131 per cent, according to a 2012 freshet update presented by staffer Tara Friesen.

Runoff volumes and peak flows of melted snow water will actually depend on how the weather plays out in the coming weeks.

“What we don’t want to see is a long, cool spring, and then all of a sudden a hot period with temperatures of more than 25 degrees for more than a week, or heavy rains,” Friesen said.

Either of those scenarios would cause water levels to rise quickly.

What happens in the Upper Fraser and Thompson is of critical importance to Lower Mainland communities.

“They tend to influence the peaks we see down here,” said Friesen.

But despite those facts, Chilliwack and other cities on the Fraser will get plenty of advance notice, as it takes a few days travel time for the water to works its way down to the lower Fraser. So it could be a week or more, she said, and there would be advisories and alerts issued in the case of high water or bank full conditions.

Chilliwack’s flood response planning included $9 million in dike upgrades, offering protection of up to 8 metres at the Mission gauge, she said.

Recent flood protection projects included dike raising, bank protection work and improvements to the dike’s seepage control system.

“The City has prepared emergency plans and maintains an emergency management organization,” said city spokesperson Starlee Renton.

“This is to ensure the safety of citizens when the situation requires a high level of response. Snowpack levels and runoff forecasts will continue to be closely monitored and you will be provided with information updates as they are received.”

Residents were reminded to have their grab-and-go emergency kits ready.

Find updates at www.chilliwack.com/floodprotection, follow www.twitter.com/city_chilliwack or www.facebook.com/chilliwack.

Residents can call an information hotline at 604-793-2757.



Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read