Water levels for the Fraser River at the Mission gauge read about 5.86 metres Wednesday.

Fraser River water levels to peak over weekend

No areas are expected to flood in Mission but monitoring continues

The rain and snowmelt that has been causing high water in the Fraser River system and flood watch warnings in Prince George and Chilliwack is not expected to create similar problems in Mission.

The Fraser River gauge in Mission was measured at 5.86 metres Wednesday morning, up 0.59 metres from the previous week, and is predicted to peak at 6.38 metres by the weekend.

But that is well below the 8.89-metre height of the lower Fraser River dike system, so communities along the lower Fraser are not likely to experience flooding except for areas not protected by dikes.

“The question that comes into play for this weekend is the rainfall,” said Mission’s emergency preparedness coordinator Ian Fitzpatrick.

Environment Canada reports show a low pressure system off the B.C. coast that is expected to spread rain — potentially up to 15 mm — to the South Coast on Friday and Saturday.

But in the southern interior there could be between 20 and 40 mm, which could factor into the overall volume on the Fraser, said Fitzpatrick.

The unexpected rainfall last weekend added an extra 1,000 metres per second of water volume at the Hope gauge.

Fitzpatrick planned to sit in on an advanced planning meeting Wednesday afternoon to assess where potential flooding could occur in non-diked areas, though even those places are unlikely to be affected.

“It’s a question of what if the river goes above that based on the rainfall,” he said, adding he will be talking to residents on Silvermere Lake about preparedness and monitoring.

Similarly, he will talk to businesses off of Nelson Street and Chester Street on the riverside of the dike.

The Silverdale dike is agricultural and not up to the same construction standards as the Fraser River dike system, so protection from flooding is limited, said Fitzpatrick. And residents on Silvermere Lake and the Ruskin trailer park do not have any diking protection at all.

Mission did a little sandbagging around those areas during the last serious flood threat in 2007.

“But we’re not anywhere near those levels this time around, at this point anyway,” he said.

For daily updates visit www.mission.ca and click on the bold link titled Fraser River Flood Information.