Use Caution Along Fraser River During Freshet Season
The public is advised to use caution along the Fraser River and other watercourses as the BC River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory for the lower Fraser River.
This means river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
Annually in May and June, British Columbia experiences a freshet. This occurs when accumulated snow at higher elevations begin to melt causing rivers to rise.
Persistent warmer than normal temperatures across British Columbia for the past three weeks has led to a much earlier than normal runoff period for the Fraser River. Many of the gauge locations along the Fraser River are at or above their historic flows for this early in the freshet season.
Currently the City of Port Coquitlam is monitoring the freshet situation and proactively taking steps to prepare for the safety of residents and businesses should flooding occur.
The City’s response plan includes:
- Daily monitoring weather forecasts and river levels;
- Patrolling, inspecting and maintaining dikes and pump stations;
- Preparing and disseminating flooding and flood preparedness information to the public;
- Liaising with other government and utility organizations;
- Developing contingency plans; and
- Updating the City’s evacuation plan as necessary.
A significant proportion of Port Coquitlam is in either the Fraser River or Pitt River flood plain. The City raised the dikes in the community in 2007.
A variety of flood preparedness resources, including flood plain maps, are available at www.portcoquitlam.ca/flood and at City facilities. General emergency preparedness resources, including information about free courses, can be found at www.portcoquitlam.ca/ep.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to develop an emergency preparedness plan to prepare for a potential event.