Recent hot temperatures and rapid snowmelt have led to a high streamflow advisory being issued for the Fraser River this weekend.
Water levels in Mission are forecasted to reach 5.9 to 6.05 metres over the Sunday to Tuesday period and flows in Hope are expected to reach 9,500 to 10,000 m3/s today into Saturday, according to an advisory put out by the B.C. River Forecast Centre on May 31.
After reaching peak levels this weekend, flows are expected to recede slowly next week.
A high streamflow advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
As a result, the Township of Langley is now entering Phase 3 of their flood response plan for the Fraser River freshet, with staff doing daily dyke inspections.
Letters have also been sent to property owners in unprotected areas of Glen Valley and Fort Langley advising them of flood risks.
As of Friday afternoon, there was only one small trail closure in Fort Langley’s Marina Park, but the Township is encouraging residents to be on the lookout for flooding.
“What we really want to remind the public of, is if they see those trails closed, please don’t enter because it’s for their own safety,” said Roeland Zwaag, Township director of public works.
“But if they see other trails that are underwater but are not marked, we really want them to phone us and let us know because although we’re doing daily inspections and patrolling, we might miss certain sections here and there that could come up after our visits.”
Those who notice a trail or section of road underwater are asked to call the Township at 604-532-7300 during regular work hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday) or at 604-543-6700 after hours.
JUNE 2012 FLOOD
Annual flooding in Langley is not a recent phenomena. Every year, a freshet occurs in May and June when melting snow packs on the mountains run into surrounding rivers. In 1948, a massive flood surrounded Fort Langley, completely cutting the town off from the rest of Langley for two weeks.
Close to 150 Glen Valley residents were put on evacuation alert, as the Fraser River swelled over Marina Park in Fort Langley and sections of River Road, Derby Reach Regional Park and Brae Island.
At that time, the Township’s emergency plan was executed, with engineering staff patrolling dikes, and other areas not protected by dikes, including Northwest Langley, Brae Island and McMillan Island.
Some Glen Valley residents in Abbotsford were put on evacuation order, after access to their homes was cut off by the rising river.