City of Chilliwack officials are watching closely as the 2022 freshet continues on the Fraser River but at this point it isn’t anything they haven’t seen before.
City officials said they’ve been in contact with any residents living outside Chilliwack’s dike system who could “potentially be impacted by high water,” according to the city’s 2022 Fraser River Freshet information page on June 9.
The River Forecast Centre has predicted water levels will be in the 9,000 cubic-metre-per-second range for the Fraser River at Hope during the next few weeks.
“This means that some properties outside of the dike in the Carey Point area are at a potential risk of overland flow,” the city’s June 9 update said. “Water levels in the coming weeks will depend on the weather and the province will continue to provide updated 10-day forecasts.”
The most recent forecast based on the CLEVER model is at http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/freshet/clever/08MF005.PDF
A high streamflow advisory went out June 8, as water levels were rising with increased snow melt.
Residents of Chilliwack can check two city web pages for details: The 2022 Fraser River Freshet Information page, mentioned above. The other is the Fraser River Flood Protection page with updates on the Fraser at Mission gauge.
The City of Chilliwack’s flood response plan is based on river levels relative to the dike system as well as readings from the Mission Gauge, which was at about 5.0 metres on June 10.
The current 10-day forecast shows the river reaching 5.7 metres at Mission by early next week then levelling off.
“This forecasted water level is well below the city’s design dike elevations, and we have experienced similar water levels five times over the past 10 years,” according to city update of June 8.
The dikes in Chilliwack provide “a very high level of protection,” from floods, according to the Freshet Frequently Asked Questions page. Half of the dikes are designed to protect against about a 1 in 200 year Fraser River flood. The other half of the dikes have been raised to provide an even higher level of protection, for about a 1 in 500 year flood.
“The likelihood of floods this large occurring in any given year is low, and the city thoroughly checks and monitors the integrity of the dike system and drainage pump stations during freshet to ensure they are operating properly.”
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