Crews pull sheets of landscape fabric over soil while building a check dam at Carey Point (near the east end of Ballam Road) on Tuesday afternoon.

Crews pull sheets of landscape fabric over soil while building a check dam at Carey Point (near the east end of Ballam Road) on Tuesday afternoon.

Fraser River freshet watch is a waiting game

As temperatures rise, concern grows over the potential for flooding in the Fraser Valley

The Fraser River could ultimately peak at five, six or even seven metres at the Mission gauge. At this point in the 2012 spring freshet, it’s anybody’s guess.

“Because of the above average snowpack, we’re expecting above average flows,” said city staffer Tara Friesen in a report to Chilliwack city council.

River levels are still expected to peak between the end of May and mid-July, and estimates are for levels to reach between 4.5m and 5.5m by next week.

City staff have been conducting routine freshet preparations and monitoring of water levels and forecasts, said Friesen.

Assuming “normal melt conditions” will prevail this spring, the river is expected to peak at 6 metres at the Mission gauge. The average is about 5.5 metres.

But with temperatures on the rise of late, the river could rise noticeably next week, which isn’t something that “would cause us a problem,” she told council. “Our dike system is designed to protect us up to 8 metres at the Mission gauge.”

Some areas in Chilliwack could see overtopping of banks at 6 metres, and sections of the unprotected areas like Carey Point have also seen flooding at 5 metres.

Chilliwack officials are hoping there’s no extreme weather coming for the upper watersheds, particularly the Upper Fraser and the Thompson regions where flows can influence the peaks seen in the lower Fraser.

Construction work on the check dam at Orchard Slough is now complete, said city officials. So is the berm structure built by property owners located between the river and the dike, who were impacted by flooding and seepage last year.

The city has just hired consulting engineers Kerr Wood Leidal to conduct an independent review of  flooding or seepage that occurs.

As of May 1, the snowpack in Fraser River watersheds was pegged at 129 per cent of the historical average, according to River Forecast Centre updates.

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Vanessa Dueck.
Snapshots of a Chilliwack father from his loving daughter

Father’s Day memories of special moments shared together

Rachel is a six month old Labrador retriever cross who was found at large. She is seen here at the Chilliwack SPCA on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Rachel at the Chilliwack SPCA

6-month-old puppy found at large, now at Chilliwack SPCA, needs special home

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

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

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read