The City of Abbotsford monitors the levels of the Fraser River during the annual snowmelt season to assess the flooding risk along the Matsqui dikes.

The City of Abbotsford monitors the levels of the Fraser River during the annual snowmelt season to assess the flooding risk along the Matsqui dikes.

Fraser River level slightly above normal at start of snowmelt, says City of Abbotsford

Matsqui Prairie residents could experience some pooling or seepage

The City of Abbotsford says the level of the Fraser River is slightly above normal for this time of year, and residents in areas along the Matsqui dikes could experience water pooling or seepage.

The snow basin index at Hope is at 108 per cent as of Thursday afternoon (April 14), the city said in a press release.

The city monitors the levels of the Fraser River during the annual snowmelt season to assess the flooding risk along the dikes.

The Matsqui dikes are designed to prevent water in the Fraser River from entering onto Matsqui Prairie, but “the pressure difference created by the high water level” could result in pooling, the release states.

RELATED: Fraser River freshet 2021 to be shaped by weather patterns in weeks to come

“Seasonal weather during the snowmelt season is a critical factor in determining the size of freshet, and whether or not flooding will occur. Intense or prolonged rainfall and extreme temperatures are important factors that can lead to larger freshets,” the city says.

To minimize the seepage pooling and/or a boil on local properties, the city advises avoiding the following activities from May to September near the dikes:

• the removal of trees or stumps;

• deep cultivation of fields; and

• digging holes with machines.

To view the areas where seepage pools were found during previous freshet seasons, visit abbotsford.ca/city-services/dyking-drainage or make an in-person appointment at the engineering department at city hall for a hard copy.

For more information on the snow survey and freshet season, visit the province’s River Forecast Centre website.

For real-time river level information at the Mission Bridge (Station 08MH024), visit wateroffice.ec.gc.ca.

To report water pooling on a property or to get information on the freshet season, contact the City of Abbotsford’s dyking, drainage and irrigation division at 604-853-5485.

RELATED: B.C. says highways are prepared for spring runoff

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