UPDATE: Hope in wait-and-see mode as Fraser River continues to rise

Hope gauge is at 10,600 cubic metres per second and rising, district says it may reach 2012 levels

The Fraser Canyon and Hope are in a wait-and-see mode as the Fraser River freshet reaches new heights every day and a high streamflow advisory remains in place.

How the hot temperatures, melting snowpack and rain wreaking havoc in B.C. Interior communities will affect the Fraser Valley is still uncertain, David Campbell said Monday. The head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre said the temperatures next week, forecast between eight and 12 degrees Celcius above normal for this point in the year, are a concern.

“Without a doubt this is an extreme weather event,” Campbell said Monday. “Weather over the next period is going to be critical for how the situation plays out.”

Emergency operations centres at the District of Hope and the Fraser Valley Regional District are activated, they are currently in a monitoring phase. A high streamflow advisory from the River Forecast Centre was renewed May 15, with flows anticipated to rise throughout the long weekend.

The discharge level at the Hope gauge as of press time was 10,600 cubic metres per second (m3/s), with the District of Hope predicting flows to reach 2012 water levels. In 2012, the highest recorded discharge was 12,000 m3/s.

The district issued a public safety bulletin to the properties adjacent to the Fraser River Tuesday, urging the public to stay off the Fraser’s banks and shores including residents whose yards border the river.

“The banks of these physical properties may have become unstable because of moderate to severe erosion, seepage or flooding,” the advisory reads.

The District warned last week the following areas were likely to be affected by localized flooding or ground seepage: Wardle Street between 7 Avenue and Allison; Landstrom Road; Tom Berry Road; Water Avenue; Bristol Island and Airport Road.

No communities in the Fraser Valley Regional District Electoral Areas A and B have been issued flooding alerts and the communities of Boston Bar, North Bend, Spuzzum and Yale are not a significant concern of flood risk, manager of corporate affairs Jennifer Kinneman stated in an email.

The regional district recommends residents use extreme caution around the Fraser River, prepare an emergency kit with food, water, medications, toiletries and important papers, and move valuables to upper floors if people’s homes are outside of dike protection.

The spring freshet, the flooding of rivers from melting mountain snow and ice, normally peaks in late May to early June.

If you are seeing signs of flooding where you live, get in touch at 604-869-4992 or emelie.peacock@hopestandard.com.

-With files from Paul Henderson

Related coverage:

Snow pack report highlights concerns along Fraser River


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