City of Maple Ridge has issued flood alerts to about 50 homes. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge issues flood advisory notices to Hammond homes

Residents told how to prepare for high water, sand bags offered

The fast-running Fraser River has prompted the City of Maple Ridge to issue a flood advisory to about 50 homes along Wharf Street in the low-lying Hammond area.

Residents there received notices about how to protect their homes if the water keeps rising.

The city, which has activated its emergency operations centre, is also delivering sand and sandbags to the west end of Wharf Street, beneath the Golden Ears Bridge, if people want to make fortifications.

If the river level at the Mission gauge reaches 6.5 metres, residents will be issued evacuation alerts, to prepare for any possible future evacuation of the area, if that becomes necessary.

There’s also a sandbagging depot set up at Bradley’s One Stop Landscape and Garden Supplies at 23549 Lougheed Hwy., for residents who’ve received a flood advisory notice.

Officials are asking people to stay away from the river.

“Water levels on the Fraser River and tributaries are very high and water flows are fast. Exercise extreme caution if you are near the river. We also recommend that people stay off the Fraser River for recreation purposes,” said a news release from the city Wednesday.

The city has also closed the boat dock at the Haney Wharf while the river is running high.

Katzie First Nation is also making preparations for high water with a community-wide sandbagging effort underway.

A high stream flow advisory is currently in place for the Fraser River.

In Pitt Meadows, city crews are monitoring the dikes.

“There is no immediate risk of flooding in areas protected by dikes; however, water is running quickly and there is considerable debris in the Fraser,” the city says.

Emergency program coordinator Barb Morgan said the city currently is in a “pretty good position” because of its extensive diking system. No alerts have been issued.

The current BC River Forecast Centre is predicting that levels could reach between 6.0m to 6.6m on the Mission gauge in the next 7-10 days (approximately May 22).

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