Some basements in the Fairfield Island area have been getting wet this week, as the water table rises in north Chilliwack.
The city put a statement on their Fraser River Flood Preparations page, July 2, advising those with basements to prepare for the possibility, due to significantly high water levels. Because while the water isn’t forecasted to get high enough to breach the city’s dike system, it can creep up into homes from the bottom up.
“Residents … should review steps they can take to minimize possible damage in the event the water table rises to a similar level this year, such as having a sump pump and moving items off the basement floor,” the city’s statement says.
The Fraser River has peaked twice now, and it’s been a late freshet season. The city says it’s “very unusual” for a second peak this late in the year. The second peak was driven by a late snowmelt in the north, and a rainy season in the Upper Fraser Valley.
While the city hasn’t had any complaints from homeowners on groundwater flooding, there are anecdotes on Facebook pages that confirm at least a few homeowners are dealing with wet basements.
Meanwhile, on the outer edge of Fairfield Island, residents and farmers on the unprotected area known as Carey Point have been busy dealing with overland flooding. Much of the point was covered with deep waters when a community-built berm broke in several places during the first high water event at the end of June.
The area is full of tree farms, hay fields and at least one medical marijuana grow operation. All were significantly flooded during the first event and remained largely underwater throughout the week.
And while the river is forecasted to begin to recede by the end of the week, the danger is far from over.
“Higher flows than 2012 could occur this year depending on weather patterns in the coming weeks,” the city warns. “The peak typically occurs between May and July, and the city will be closely monitoring conditions and forecasts.”
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.