Metro Van issues evacuation alert for Barnston Island

Residents near Maple Ridge told to prepare to leave if Fraser River rises further

Metro Vancouver has issued an evacuation alert for Barnston Island as the Fraser River keeps rising.

The alert went into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, and tells residents there to be prepared to leave if there’s a later evacuation order.

The evacuation alert is a precautionary measure. Residents are not required to leave, but should prepare to do so if an evacuation order is made.

The ferry between the island and Port Kells began to operate around the clock, with the B.C. government encouraging residents to relocate large pets and livestock right away. No large animals will be allowed on the ferry if an evacuation order is issued.

The ferry will continue to run as long as possible, but once the river reaches a certain height, the dock will become submerged.

Access to Barnston Island is now restricted to residents, businesses and those with a family connection. Barnston Island Regional Park is also closed.

Metro Vancouver staff are monitoring Fraser River levels as well as patrolling dikes and deploying sandbags.

The BC River Forecast Centre, Environment Canada and Emergency Management BC continue to predict increasing river flows over the next several days because of an especially early and rapid spring snow melt.

The Township of Langley issued an evacuation alert on Tuesday morning for flood plain areas of northwest Langley, Glen Valley, as well as Brae Island and McMillan Island after levels at the Mission gauge reached 5.5 metres.

Maple Ridge is also on flood watch, particularly in the Hammond area, near Kanaka Way, Tamarack Lane, north 224th Street and in Ruskin at 288th Street near the Stave River.

• Residents of Barnston Island who have questions about the evacuation alert can contact Metro Vancouver’s Information Centre by phone, 604-432-6200, or email icentre@metrovancouver.org

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