Residents at Carey Point on the Fraser River on the north end of Chilliwack woke up Tuesday to find out that a private berm that partially protects the area had broken.
Carey Point is in the unprotected floodplain, outside of the city’s diking system, and has a history of flooding during spring freshet.
A large tree that holds the berm together gave way sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
City officials are “keeping an eye” on Carey Point on the north side of Chilliwack as freshet on the Fraser River begins.
“It’s early days yet, but we are monitoring water levels,” said David Blain, director of engineering for City of Chilliwack.
The private berm maintained by residents of Carey Point properties was damaged this week, and is currently being rebuilt by them.
“The water level is still well below the top of bank so there isn’t any flooding occurring,” Blain said Tuesday, adding that erosion rather than rising water levels might be the issue here.
Freshet prep at this stage includes city staff inspecting the dike system and pump stations, as well as monitoring river levels.
The last time there was overland flooding at freshet time was in 2018, when three unprotected properties were put on evacuation order.
What will occur in terms of flooding for 2020 will largely be determined by the weather in the coming weeks.
“It would take some extreme weather to be a concern for our dikes,” Blain said. “It’s more the areas outside the dike we have to keep an eye on.”
Residents worked quickly to get truck loads of fill to the Carey Point site to either rebuild the berm, or create a new one. On Tuesday morning, they were assessing the situation.
Carey Point has only a handful of properties and homes, and juts out from Ballam Road, Jess Road and Carey Road.