THE NEWS/files Water levels are expected to rise in the Fraser River due to the melting snow pack.

Water levels to peak in Fraser River over the weekend

People being warned in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to exercise due caution as high flow and water levels could be dangerous.

People are being warned about a rising, fast-flowing Fraser River showing the effects of a melting snow pack caused by the recent warm spell.

Both the City of Maple Ridge and B.C. River Forecast Centre warned Thursday that the river is expected to peak on the weekend.

“As the B.C. River Forecast centre noted, the Fraser River has not been at this level for a few years, so a lot of debris that gathered on the shoreline has been picked up and is sweepingdown toward the ocean,” said Patrick Cullen, emergency program coordinator for the City of Maple Ridge.

“People who use the river for recreational boating or paddling need to exercise great caution. Citizens who walk or hike along the river should also be careful, especially with off-leash pets, as the river currents quickly overcome even experienced swimmers.”

High-water levels, high-flow rates and and logs and garbage being washed downstream could be dangerous for those along the river, he added.

Water levels along the Fraser River in Mission are forecast to reach 5.9-6.05 metres Sunday to Tuesday.

The river is then expected to recede gradually.

The high flows could result in localized flooding, depending on infrastructure that’s in place.

Maple Ridge has already begun regular dike inspections as the water levels have been rising.

Those inspections are triggered once the water level reaches six metres at the Mission gauge.

• Data on the water levels are available at the River Forecast Centre website: bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/freshet/index.htm.

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