The level of the Fraser River is expected to peak next week as a result of melting snowpack, and while it will be high, latest forecasts have downgraded the level considerably.
On Wednesday, the provincial government’s river forecasts were calling for a peak on July 7 of 7.34 metres at the Mission Gauge, which would break records going back to 1972.
Now a peak is expected to be somewhere between 6-6.5 metres, considerably lower. Forecasts are being recalculated daily and local municipal governments are being updated as they come in. Much depends on how much rain arrives in a weather system that will arrive over B.C. on Sunday or Monday.
As of Thursday, June 30, the river level had dipped slightly from a recent peak of 5.8 metres, and was hovering around 5.56 metres.
Either projection puts the river considerably below the worst-ever flood in the Fraser Valley, the 1894 disaster, which saw levels of 8.89 metres, and did severe damage to low-lying areas alongside the Fraser River.
Neither Pitt Meadows nor Maple Ridge have issued evacuation alerts for low-lying areas near the river, according to their websites.
Pitt Meadows has issued a high streamflow alert as of June 9 and people can check for alerts and find emergency preparedness information on pittmeadows.ca.
Maple Ridge has an alert centre on its website, but there are no alerts for the Fraser River as of Thursday.
Chief Grace George of the Katzie First Nation issued an evacuation alert, but only for the nation’s reserve lands in Langley and on Barnston Island.
An alert does not mean people have to leave, but they should be prepared to leave if ordered to do so by chief and council, George’s notice said.
“Chief and council will make every attempt to provide as much advance notice as possible, but changing weather conditions could mean little or no notice, so residents and visitors are asked to be prepared,” the notice said.