Day by day, hour by hour, the water on the Fraser River is slowly rising leading to more evacuation orders and more areas closed to the public.
As water inundated Island 22 Regional Park this week, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) announced Wednesday the closure of the equestrian park and riverside trail, and by Thursday the park was closed altogether.
By 5 a.m. on May 17 the Mission gauge was at 5.7 metres, past the so-called “bank full conditions” of 5.5 metres that triggers City of Chilliwack flood control actions.
Earlier this week three properties in the Carey Point area were issued evacuation orders, with three more on evacuation alert.
At 4 p.m. on May 16, the FVRD issued an evacuation order to five properties at Harrison Bay in Electoral Area C. Members of the RCMP assisted in the delivery of this order. The evacuation order is limited to five properties so far. An Emergency Reception Centre has been established in Mission at Fire Hall No. 1, 33330 7th Ave, according to an FVRD press release.
Electoral Area C is located on the north side of the Fraser River. It is 3,938 square kilometres and has a population of 1,023 people. The community includes Hemlock Valley, Harrison Mills, Lake Errock, and several First Nations including Douglas, Leq’a:mel, Samahquam, Scowlitz, Skatin and Sts’ailes.
Residents of 49 other properties in Electoral Area G have also received flood watch advisories from FVRD staff to help prepare them for potential alerts or orders that may be issued.
The FVRD’s emergency response plan is based on water level readings from the flood gauge in Mission. This plan is activated when the Mission gauge reaches 6.5 metres. FVRD staff continues to monitor river levels and are taking precautions to ensure public safety. Dewdney Regional Park was closed on May 11.
The FVRD says residents should be prepared in case of any emergency and have a Grab ‘n Go emergency kit ready. Kits should contain supplies of food, water, medications, toiletries, clothing, and important documents. Residents may want to consider moving valuable items to upper floors of homes.
Continue to visit www.theprogress.com for flood updates.