The Fraser River could be seen metres away from motorhomes parked at Derby Reach Regional Park in Langley. (Roger Craik photo)

No flood warnings for Maple Ridge as Fraser River rises

High water levels on the Fraser River typical for this time of year

When Roger Craik looked across the Fraser River to Derby Reach Provincial Park on Thursday he noticed water levels were really high.

Water could be seen metres away from motorhomes parked in the campground.

He thought it was unusual, for this time of the year.

But it is not unusual according to provincial flood program staff with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Late June is typically when the snowmelt “freshet” window and high flows are expected, advised ministry staff.

“It may seem to some that this year’s peak freshet flow on the Fraser was late, it is in fact around the average timing,” said the ministry.

READ MORE: Flood risk elevated all along Fraser River

The high water level in recent days, they said, is being caused by a combination of the above-normal snow accumulation from the winter season, recent mountain snowmelt in the upper Fraser River watershed, and rainfall that has recently fallen throughout the Upper and Middle Fraser River watershed that is making its way downstream.

“We’re monitoring it every day,” said Maple Ridge fire chief Howard Exner.

“Freshet hasn’t gone away yet. It doesn’t usually go away until July,” he noted.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows need flood help

But, said Exner, based on the information that he has, he doesn’t anticipate the river to flood.

The water is expected to peak June 28 before receding.

However, Exner would like people to refrain from being on the Fraser River.

“You are taking a risk by going out there, particularly, if you are paddling something like a kayak,” said Exner, or a small boat, particularly because the water is high and running fast with debris being washed downstream.

“Certainly there should be no swimming in the river as well. Anglers should be particularly careful.”

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