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Port Coquitlam prepares for potential flood

The city of Port Coquitlam has begun making preparations for a potential flood along the Fraser River.  - SUBMITTED PHOTO
The city of Port Coquitlam has begun making preparations for a potential flood along the Fraser River.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Gary McKenna

The Tri-City News

The city of Port Coquitlam has begun making preparations for a potential flood, after a high stream flow advisory was issued Monday for the Fraser River.

Gord Voncina, the city's operations manager, said while river levels are higher than usual, so far, the water appears to be under control.

Still, rainy weather such as that experienced in the Lower Mainland on Saturday could quickly change the situation and officials are closely monitoring dikes and water levels.

"There is always the potential," Voncina said. "It is very difficult to predict. We closely monitor all the information that comes from the province and what happens through the weather service."

City staff have also visited various parts of the city's waterfront in order to make visual inspections of the dikes and water levels, he said.

Heavy rains on Saturday increased pressure on the Lower Mainland's dike system, which was already experiencing issues due to the rapid snow melt that has been occurring over the last few days.

According to a press release from the city, the Fraser River is expected to reach peak levels by late Thursday or Friday. This means river levels will rise rapidly but major flooding is not expected.

The Coquitlam and Pitt rivers could also see their water levels rise.

In 2007, the city used grants from the provincial government to upgrade many of the dikes in the municipality, raising them to approximately 5.5 m high.

People who walk along the dikes are warned to use extreme caution as water levels are higher than usual and the current is moving fast.

• Residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the city's website at www.portcoquitlam.ca/flood for up to date information on the Fraser River water levels.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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