Water seeping up to edge of Old Orchard Road in Chilliwack on June 30, 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Water seeping up to edge of Old Orchard Road in Chilliwack on June 30, 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

6 properties on Old Orchard Road were issued evacuation alerts by City of Chilliwack

Fraser River levels to rise over the Canada Day long weekend, warns provincial River Forecast Centre

City of Chilliwack issued an evacuation alert for six properties on Old Orchard Road, due to the potential loss of access to the properties in the event of localized flooding.

Cooler temperatures have returned but water levels on the Fraser River are expected to rise over the Canada Day long weekend says the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

The evacuation alert for seven properties in the Carey Point area remains in effect. Affected residents on Old Orchard Road have been contacted directly by City officials.

Addresses on Old Orchard on evac alert:

• 7848 Old Orchard Road

• 7850 Old Orchard Road

• 7878 Old Orchard Road

• 8050 Old Orchard Road

• 42532 Old Orchard Road

• 42721 Old Orchard Road

A high streamflow advisory remains in effect for the region. As river levels rise, local waterways are moving faster, and residents are advised to stay back from fast moving water and flooded areas.

City of Chilliwack is reporting that the latest river forecast is “not a cause for concern” for most properties protected by the Chilliwack dike system. Those outside the dikes however “may experience flooding,” according to the city’s update of June 29.

“Their models are providing two different scenarios for flows at Hope, ranging from 10,443 cubic metres per second to 11,526 by Sunday, July 3.

“This translates to water levels of approximately 6 metres to 6.45 metres at Mission gauge by Sunday, July 3.”

The Mission gauge was at 5.6 metres as of Wednesday, June 29.

“Water levels may rise again late next week due to rainfall, but the long-term forecast is highly variable,” according to the city’s freshet info, on the website, chilliwack.com.

To report an urgent river-related concern in Chilliwack over the weekend, residents are asked to call the after-hours emergency number at 604-792-2233. Residents of Chilliwack can also check the 2022 Fraser River Freshet Information page themselves. The other is the Fraser River Flood Protection page with updates on the Fraser at Mission gauge.

For comparison, the peak in 2012 was 6.4 metres at Mission, and the peak in 1972 hit 7.1 metres at the Mission gauge.

“Our dike system is designed to protect against much larger floods. Most properties in Chilliwack are protected by the City’s dike system and this forecast is not a cause for concern. However, properties outside the dike may experience flooding.”

Property owners are being contacted directly and evacuation alerts or orders will be issued as needed to ensure public safety. City staff continue with regular dike patrols and will address any issues that may arise. Anyone with questions or concerns can check the Freshet FAQs page, or contact the Freshet Information Line at 604-793-2757.

The Fraser Valley Regional District put out a June 29 warning about the danger of high water in the Harrison and Fraser Rivers over the Canada Day long weekend.

“The public should stay away from the Harrison and Fraser Rivers at this time. During periods of high flow, river banks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse. Stay well away and keep young children and pets away from the banks of fast-flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges.”

They not that the latest forecasts from the River Forecast Centre show the Fraser River possibly rising to 1972 flood levels, “which are higher than earlier forecasts” and may impact low-lying areas and areas not protected by dikes.

High streamflows are also expected later this week along the Fraser River, and Emergency Information BC says evacuation alerts are posted for numerous Fraser Valley properties including some in Langley, Fort Langley, Abbotsford and in Harrison Mills just east of Chilliwack.

A statement from the Township of Langley says its evacuation alerts come as the Fraser has exceeded 5.5 metres at a key measurement point, and the River Forecast Centre is calling for levels above six metres by Friday, predicting rainfall runoff from upstream will add to the rising flows for at least the next week.

High streamflows are also expected in other areas along the Fraser River, and Emergency Information BC says evacuation alerts are posted for numerous Fraser Valley properties including some in Langley, Fort Langley, Abbotsford and in Harrison Mills just east of Chilliwack.

A statement from the Township of Langley says its evacuation alerts come as the Fraser has exceeded 5.5 metres at a key measurement point, and the River Forecast Centre is calling for levels above six metres by Friday, predicting rainfall runoff from upstream will add to the rising flows for at least the next week.

—with files from Canadian Press

RELATED: Early predictions put freshet peak below dike elevations

RELATED: Cool spring delayed snowmelt in May

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Almost bank full conditions on Old Orchard Road in Chilliwack on June 30, 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Almost bank full conditions on Old Orchard Road in Chilliwack on June 30, 2022. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)