High Streamflow Advisory – Lower Fraser River
June 9, 2022
The River Forecast Centre issued a High Streamflow Advisory on June 8 for the Fraser River from Quesnel downstream, including Big Bar, Boston Bar, and the Fraser Valley from Hope to the ocean.
The public is advised to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.
Rising snowmelt rates and wet weather across the BC Interior are leading to ongoing rises in the Fraser River and its tributaries. Flows in headwater tributaries are expected to work their way into the lower Fraser River at Hope and downstream over the next two to three days. Moderate rainfall is forecast for Thursday, which is expected to increase local inflow from local tributaries along the lower Fraser River.
The current flow on the Fraser River at Hope (08MF005) is 8400 m3/s (approaching a 2-year flow) and rising. Flows around 9000 m3/s are expected by Friday. The Fraser River at Mission (08MH024) is currently at 4.8 m, and is forecast to rise above 5.0 m by Saturday.
The FVRD cautions residents living in floodplain areas, especially those not protected by dikes, to monitor water levels and keep away from river edges and shorelines. During periods of high flow, river banks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse. Stay well away and keep young children and pets away from the banks of fast-flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges.
With significant mountain snowpack remaining in the Fraser River headwaters, the flow may remain elevated for an extended period over the next 1-2 weeks (or more). During this period, the river will remain vulnerable to extreme weather events, in particular heavy rainfall or extreme heat. Long-range (10-day) weather forecasts are not indicating a risk of extreme heat, however, continued unsettled weather with precipitation in the BC Interior is anticipated to continue being the dominant weather pattern.
Current flow forecasts for the Fraser River are available from the CLEVER model and WARNS model, with water level forecasts available for locations along the lower Fraser River from Hope to the ocean.
How the FVRD is preparing:
Staff are participating in weekly coordination calls with Environment Canada, the River Forecast Centre, and Emergency Management BC to receive the most current information and updates.
The FVRD’s Emergency Operation Centre is ready to activate if needed for flood response.
The FVRD continues to monitor current and forecast river levels through the BC River Forecast Centre, weather forecasts provided by Environment Canada and local conditions.
- Dewdney Regional Park, Electoral Area G closed due to rising water.
- Eagle Point Community Park, Electoral Area C closed due to rising water.
A High Streamflow Advisory means that river levels are rising or are expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
A Flood Watch means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed their banks. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.
A Flood Warning means that river levels have exceeded their banks or will exceed banks imminently and that flooding of areas adjacent to the rivers affected will result.
How you can prepare:
- Keep back from the banks of the Fraser River if the water is high or fast-moving, and be cautious around other flooded areas because the ground may be unstable
- Download the Alertable app for latest notifications for flood response
- Read the Flood Preparedness Guide: www.preparedbc.ca/floods
- Pack a 72-hour emergency kit and make a family plan: www.preparedbc.ca/emergencykit
- Follow the FVRD on Twitter and Facebook
- Monitor weather forecasts
- Get updates from the River Forecast Centre