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Fraser River levels starting to recede but officials warn ‘waterways are still high and moving fast’

Evacuation alerts will stay in place until water levels recede further, say local governments
July 6 hydrometric data graph for the Fraser River at Mission. (Government of Canada)

The B.C. River Forecast Centre says Fraser River water levels should start to recede slowly.

City of Chilliwack officials updated their flood prevention page accordingly on Wednesday (July 6), and telling residents to still be cautious.

“Right now our waterways are still high and moving fast,” their July 6 tweet said. “Please use caution near riverbanks and stay back from the water’s edge.”

Water levels were up to 5.87 metres at the Mission Gauge on Monday, July 4 and by Wednesday, July 6 they had dipped to 5.61 metres, which shows that freshet levels are starting to go down.

At this point levels are predicted to remain above 5.3 metres for the next week or so, so residents should continue to be careful around swift water.

At 5.5 metres the water is at “bank full conditions,” meaning the river elevation has risen to fill its natural banks but have not spilled into the flood plain.

City officials are leaving the existing evacuation alerts in place until the water levels recede further with plans for updates when the evacuation alerts are lifted.

By July 4, the River Forecast Centre was no longer predicting a 1972 flood level or worse for the Fraser, the FVRD reported. “Despite improvements to river forecasts, the FVRD’s Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) continues to monitor the situation and will increase its operations if necessary. The provincial high stream advisory and evacuation alerts issued by the FVRD remain in effect.”

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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