New Westminster, BC– The City of New Westminster would like to provide the following update to residents regarding the water levels on the Fraser River, received from the BC River Forecast Centre as of June 8, 2012.
Significant rain has fallen throughout the headwater tributaries of the Fraser River earlier this week, particularly in the Thompson and Upper Fraser basins. Rainfall totals of 25-60mm fell through the North and South Thompson basins, and in the 40-80mm range in the Upper Fraser. This rainfall is creating a significant pulse of water through the Fraser Basin. River levels have reached flood stage today on the Fraser River at Prince George, and peaking today on the North Thompson River at McLure.
Typically flows take approximately 2 ½ to 3 days to travel from the North Thompson at McLure and the Fraser River at Shelley to the lower Fraser River at Hope. Flows are expected to rise at the Fraser River at Hope through the weekend, and reach peak levels very late on Sunday evening, or early on Monday. For comparison, this is similar to peak levels observed in 2011. This is well below flood stage through the Lower Mainland, however it is approaching levels where areas not protected by diking systems may be affected. A High Streamflow Advisory may be issued over the weekend to warn of these conditions.
After peaking on Sunday-Monday, levels are expected to decline through the early part of the week. Given the current snow pack levels across the Fraser River watershed, there is still sufficient snow to pose on-going flood risk for another 2 to 3 weeks, depending on weather conditions.
The City of New Westminster Emergency Management Office will continue to monitor the situation through regular liaison with the experts at the federal and provincial government levels and will continue to provide updates to the community as necessary. In the meantime, interested members of the public may wish to visit the city website at www.newwestcity.ca for further information on the 2012 Fraser River Freshet including links to provincial bodies responsible for public safety.