A man cycles through water covering a road in the closed, flooded campgrounds at Derby Reach Regional Park on Monday, July 4. Water levels on the Fraser River peaked around that date before receding. (Langley Advance Times files)

A man cycles through water covering a road in the closed, flooded campgrounds at Derby Reach Regional Park on Monday, July 4. Water levels on the Fraser River peaked around that date before receding. (Langley Advance Times files)

2022: Top stories of the year

Year in Review: Langley buffeted by cold spring, drought, and winter storm

Weather was extreme in several different ways over the course of 2022

Langley saw a year that snapped back and forth between extremes – too wet, too dry, and finally, too cold.

The spring was damp and colder than normal well into May, leaving Langley very green, but farmers worried.

By that month, normally when backyard gardeners are getting ready to plant on the Victoria Day long weekend, it was still snowing in the mountains of the B.C. Interior.

Local farmers were concerned about late crops and problems with pollination.

“I can’t remember one [a spring] that’s been this cold for this long,” Alf Krause of Krause Berry Farm told the Langley Advance Times in May.

He and his family have been farming in Langley for decades, growing a variety of berries in the North Otter area.

He was worried because berries, fruit trees, and many other crops need bees to pollinate, and by May there had only been a handful of days warm enough to lure the bees out of their hives.

Local wine makers were also worried, especially about fruit wines.

Fortunately for the farmers, the weather did change, warming up and turning dry by July.

Unfortunately, it stayed dry.

After a spring that was damp and cool and dominated by greenery, Langley turned brown and dry.

As usual with the quick turn from a cool, damp spring to a dry, warmer summer, there was a concern that the Fraser River might flood its banks, and the river exceeded 5.5 metres on the Mission gauge in late June, and peaked well above that on July 4 before receding.

Langley Township issued an evacuation alert for residents in low-lying areas near the river. Fortunately, there was no significant flood damage.

The weather stayed dry and warm well into October, before breaking with some rainy days.

The low water levels even hampered the salmon runs in some creeks. On the Nicomekl River, fish couldn’t get past the sea dam to get out to the Pacific Ocean.

Nigel Easton is president of the Nicomekl Enhancement Society that operates the volunteer-run hatchery in Langley.

“All our fish are sitting at the dam,” Easton told the Langley Advance Times on in mid-October.

“There’s a lot of salmon swimming around.”

The rain did eventually fill creeks again, with a few rainstorms in October and November.

But major parts of B.C. are still under drought alert into the winter, with not enough water to refill local reservoirs.

Finally, an arctic outflow front in December ran into moisture on Dec. 19, dumping a significant amount of snow onto Langley.

People were told to stay at home if they didn’t need to travel, as snow plows struggled to clear up between 30 and 40 centimetres of snow off roads and parking lots. With temperatures plunging as low as -12° Celsius, there was no chance of the snow melting until just before Christmas.


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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Some of the 25,000 Chinook salmon smelts released at the Nicomekl Enhancement Society open house on Saturday, April 30. (Langley Advance Times file)

Some of the 25,000 Chinook salmon smelts released at the Nicomekl Enhancement Society open house on Saturday, April 30. (Langley Advance Times file)

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