Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress

District warns residents to be prepared for floods

Fraser River may reach levels at highest in 8 years, forecast says

If the B.C. River Forecast Centre is correct, the Fraser River levels reach heights not seen since 2012.

The District of Kent released a report from the forecast centre on Friday (May 29) that indicated Harrison Lake is expected to rise approximately 80 centimetres and that water levels in the Fraser River could “rise significantly.”

If the forecast is correct, this might be of concern for areas outside of the district’s dike system, particularly in Harrison Mills.

RELATED: FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

“Additionally, water levels along Rockwell Drive could impact the roadbed,” read a statement from district staff. “There is the potential of flooding in other areas if the Fraser River continues to rise. It is also possible that peak times may vary between the Fraser River and Harrison Lake.”

Portions of Rockwell Drive were virtually destroyed when a flood wiped out the roadway in February, forcing the evacuation of more than 40 homes following flood-induced landslides that laid waste to some underground infrastructure in addition to the roadway.

Currently, the district is far outside the high stream flow advisory and flood watch areas according to an interactive map from the B.C. River Forecast Centre.

However, the Fraser Valley Regional District Emergency Operations Centre has issued evacuation alerts for Harrison Bay Resort and RV Park, Beach Camp Road and Tapadera Estates on Morris Valley Road. This is only an alert and has not at this time been escalated to anything higher than a state of heightened awareness and preparation.

In an evacuation alert, residents will need to prepare for evacuation, including securing important papers, valuables and medication, having a plan to move to a meeting place and preparing to move livestock and pets to safety.

“If you do not already have an emergency plan in place for your household, now is an excellent time to create one,” the district suggests.

Heavy rainfall across the Fraser Valley on May 30 broke an 80-year record with 31.7 millimetres falling in Chilliwack. The previous record was 24.9 millimetres.

RELATED: Mayor: Destruction to District of Kent’s Rockwell Drive due to heavy storms may take weeks to repair

In 2012, levels of groundwater throughout the District of Kent also rose as a result of flooding, which may result in some water creeping into basements within the town site if levels continue to rise. Residents in affected areas are encouraged to test sump pumps and move objects off the basement floor if possible.

Seepage and shallow ponding is also not uncommon at this time in agricultural fields. Residents need to take extreme caution near river banks and especially around dangerous, fast-moving water.

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