Thursday, June 21, 2012

 

Local News

Fraser River Spills It's Banks

3 homes evacuated Thursday, over 40 at risk

Staff/Voice photos

 

A truck plows through water covering Ballam Road on the other side of the barricades at around 7 P.M. Thursday.

 

n Thursday afternoon as Fraser River levels continued to rise, the City of Chilliwack issued an evacuation order to three homes on Carey Point, affecting about a dozen people. In all, 42 homes outside the dike are at risk and remain on evacuation alert.

By 9 P.M., the capacious river hit the 6.1 metre mark at Mission gauge.

At 6.0 meters the river is described as being "Beyond Bank-Full Conditions", which means it basically has risen over banks and is beginning to seep into the unprotected floodplain and areas outside the dikes.

Barricades were setup on Ballam Rd. and some local traffic was driving though on the partially submerged road. The gate at Island 22 was closed and City staff were directing a steady stream of lookie-lous.

Large chunks of riverbank are being washed away, and the City is asking people to stay out of the area because the unstable banks pose a safety threat.

"The City of Chilliwack is asking the public to please protect their personal safety and avoid any recreational activities on the riverside and on the dykes," said Starlee Renton in a release Thursday.

"The river is expected to overtop the berm in this area tonight and there is great concern for the safety of residents living in these three homes. The order affects 12 people. RCMP will be conducting regular patrols of the affected area."

The City will be monitoring the river levels and 24 hour dyke patrols beginning Friday morning.

Renton says the BC River Forecast Centre predicts the river will continue to rise at Mission and peak Saturday or Sunday at 6.75 metres.

"These forecasts do not take into account the rain expected Friday and Saturday. If rain does occur, then the river will remain high for a couple of days and then we could see a higher peak early next week," said Renton. "Areas behind the dykes are protected for water levels of up to 8.2 metres and are not at risk."

Some preventative sandbagging is occurring for 3-6 homes backing onto the Hope River.

Please note partial road closures are in effect at:

  • McSween Road north of Ballam Road,
     

  • Ballam Road between McSween and McDonald
     

  • Ballam Road east of Kitchen, including Jess

For more information and the City's latest updates, visit www.chilliwack.com Check Fraser River water gauge levels here.

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