UPDATE: Berm at Carey Point breached

Despite rising water levels and limited flooding, the city remained confident Friday that the Fraser River would not top the dikes.

Despite rising water levels and a breach in a berm outside Chilliwack’s dikes, the city remained confident Saturday that the Fraser River would not top the dikes.

Flow projections now estimate the Fraser won’t peak until Sunday or early Monday.

When it does, it will peak at around 6.7 metres – still well below the design capacity of the 50 kilometres of dikes protecting the city.

“With the current forecast, there is no concern that water will overtop the dike system,” the City of Chilliwack said in a statement released Friday afternoon and repeated Saturday.

On Friday evening, the Carey Point berm failed. It had been built earlier this year by residents and two levels of government to protect homes outside the dike. Residents in the other 39 homes outside the dike remain on evacuation alert.

People are being asked to avoid the area, both for security and safety reasons. “The bank is very unstable and a high risk to public safety,” City hall said.

The City is delivering sand and sandbags on request to homes outside the dike. Volunteer sandbaggers are still deployed.

There has also been some preventative sandbagging done at a handful of homes along the Hope River.

A section of Old Orchard Road has been added to the list of road closures. It joins:

• Ballam Rd. east of Mcdonald Rd. and west of McSween Rd.

• Local traffic only road closures remain in effect  at McSween Rd. north of Ballam Rd.

•   Ballam Rd.between Mc Sween Rd. and McDonald Rd.

• Ballam Rd. east of Kitchen including Jess

•  Carey Rd. at Jesperson

The 24-hour dike patrols that began Friday morning will continue throughout the weekend. The city is warning residents to stay from the river bank. “This activity is a serious safety risk and is also interfering with flood protection work. Please avoid the riverside and the dike areas.”

The current Hope flow is 11,900 cubic metres per second and expected to be stable for the rest of Friday. Water levels at the Mission gauge are expected to rise to 6.6 Saturday and 6.7 Sunday-Monday.

Water levels will drop slightly mid next week, then rise again next weekend based on headwater rain forecast.

Note: The images at right show the rising water levels of the Fraser River on Wednesday when it was lower, compared to Friday. Photos by Jenna Hauck/ Progress.