The 2018 spring freshet could see higher velocities and possible flooding with the dykes in Delta. (James Smith photo)

Delta might see foreshore flooding in May

The higher-than-average spring freshet is pushing more water down the Fraser River and past Delta

Delta could be at an increased risk for localized flooding inside the dykes over the coming weeks, as spring weather accelerates snow melt in higher elevations.

“We’re looking at a bit more of a challenge this year compared to the last years,” deputy director of engineering Hugh Fraser said, noting there is some flooding expected for the foreshore areas inside the dykes.

So far this year, areas in the Fraser River basin have seen higher than normal snow pact, which is leading to severe flooding in other parts of the Fraser basin. The wet and cold beginning of April saw more snow than usual in some areas of the basin, while the steep increase in temperature has caused an early spring melt.

RELATED: 5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

“We’re expecting a larger-than-normal freshet this year, and we’re really starting to see that,” Fraser said. “The melt is earlier and much more rapid this year.”

Evacuation orders have already been given out for three properties in Chilliwack, while an evacuation alert has been issued for Northwest Langley.

The river’s flow gauge in Hope is seeing 8,400 cubic metres of water go past each second as of May 10. The average is between 8,000 and 10,000 cubic metres per second. The current forecast expects the gauge to reach above 12,000 cubic metres per second by the end of May, and possibly higher.

The flood of 1948, which saw between 40 and 60 acres of Westham Island washed away, was at 15,180 cubic metres per second.

According to Fraser, it is the flow rate that is of most concern for Delta. Although water levels at the Mission gauge were at 4.8 metres on May 10, that is less worrisome than the velocity of the water.

“We have the freshet coming down the river with very high flows, but on an ebb tide, in essence the flow and the velocity double, because all of that water has to rush out to [the] Georgia Strait,” Fraser said.

“There’s so much flow coming down, there’s so much debris, we really have to keep an eye on the dykes,” he said. “In the past, for example in the ‘48 flood, there was significant erosion in select areas of the community, and that’s then what led to flooding within Delta.”

Currently, Delta is in Stage-1 of its flood plan, which involves inspecting the dykes and organizing sandbags, concrete blocks and barriers.

Should the Mission gauge reach six metres, Delta will begin daily dyke inspections and increased preparedness. Stage-3, which involves notifying the public and evacuating high-risk areas, will come into effect if the gauge reaches seven metres, but that is not expected.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Team BC defeats its hosts at junior curling nationals Sunday

Tyler Tardi and his team have played and won three games in the Canadian championships, so far.

UPDATE: Olympic softball qualifier to be held in Surrey

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Surrey resident to speak about erasing Alzheimer’s disease stigma

A goal of Dona McMorland is to erase stigma attached to the disease

Vehicle rollover in Surrey

Surrey Fire Service responded to the collision on the 19500-block of 60 Avenue

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

Most Read

l -->