Prepare Early for Potential Flooding From Spring Freshet

May 24, 2022

The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) is reminding residents and property owners to prepare now for potential flooding later this spring.

The River Forecast Centre issued a bulletin on May 15, 2022, indicating the flood risk continues to increase due to delayed snowmelt caused by cooler weather. Continued cool weather will increase the risk of flooding if a prolonged heatwave occurs over the next few weeks.

The bulletin indicated that the snowpack throughout BC is well above normal and the headwaters of the Fraser River have well above normal snowpack.

According to the River Forecast Centre, the catastrophic flooding that occurred in November 2021 made many rivers more vulnerable to freshet high flows. People living in floodplain areas, especially those not protected by dikes, should pay attention to weather forecasts, flood warnings, and advisories put out by the BC River Forecast centre. 

Spring Flood Risk (Freshet)

Flooding is a provincial risk every spring due to a combination of snowmelt and/or rainfall (also known as freshet). The weather conditions during spring play a critical role in the rate at which the snow melts. For example, gradual warming under dry conditions is ideal to lessen flood risk. A lengthy cold period with high amounts of precipitation followed by a sudden extreme heatwave could lead to catastrophic conditions, especially if additional rain follows.

Spring weather is impossible to predict with accuracy in advance, and communities and residents vulnerable to spring and summer flooding should prepare accordingly. Information on how to Be Prepared for Floods can be found at Emergency Management BC.

Get Prepared for Emergencies

Knowing the hazards in your area and preparing for emergencies is important. Find resources on building an emergency kit, making a family emergency plan, and more at Emergency Management BC.

Sign up for Alertable emergency notifications

Alertable is an emergency notification system used by the FVRD to send alerts to people living, working, or traveling in the electoral area during critical events such as fires or floods.

If you live in any of the communities within the FVRD’s eight electoral areas, register today.

The Alertable app is free for iOS and Android smartphones, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant home devices. Sign up for email, SMS, and phone-call notifications.