Be Prepared for Flooding

Approximately 85 per cent of Pitt Meadows is located within the Fraser River and Pitt River floodplains, and flooding can happen any time.

Pitt Meadows is susceptible to flooding due to heavy rain, rain on snow, spring freshet (river flooding from heavy rain or snow melt), and mechanical failure of pump stations.

Current Flood Status

April 13, 2021:  The City is currently monitoring river level. No active flooding.

Freshet – River Flooding possible from April to July

The freshet period—river flooding due to heavy rain or snow melt-- extends from April to July. Annual flooding in Pitt Meadows is most common in May and June.

Freshet is forecasted using snowpack estimates during winter, which can help downstream municipalities get prepared. Weather events, such as heavy rain can be more difficult to predict.

What Does the City Do to Prepare for Flooding?

The City is surrounded by 60 km of dikes, which are critical to protecting the City’s low-lying areas and key infrastructure from river flooding.

Flood mitigation infrastructure also includes ditches, pump station and flood boxes.

Each year, the City prepares for flooding by:

  • reviewing freshet (river flooding due to snowmelt and forecasts using snowpack estimates during winter
  • maintaining pump stations
  • inspecting dikes
  • clearing culverts
  • monitoring river level gauges.

Learn more about Planning and Flood Mitigation.

Please note: We do not protect private property from flood risk. Property owners are responsible for protecting their property.

Flood Warnings and Monitoring

During periods of high flood risk, City staff monitor Environment Canada’s weather forecasts and updates from the provincial River Forecast Centre, which provides information on streamflow conditions, and flood warnings and advisories.

  • High Streamflow Advisory means that river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but no major flooding is expected.  Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.
  • Flood Watch means that river levels are rising and will approach or may exceed the river bank.  Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.
  • Flood Warning means that river levels have exceeded the river bank or will exceed the river bank imminently, and flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers will result. 

The Fraser River is the most significant flood hazard in the City, as it undergoes annual freshet (flooding due to snowmelt or heavy rains). It has the ability to cause the most damage to the region due its extensive drainage area of roughly 250,000 square kilometres, which extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Lower Mainland of B.C.

Stay Informed

The City posts flood warnings and advisories on the website and social media channels. Stay tuned to local news media for updates.

Do You Live in a Flood Zone?

See the City’s Flood Risk Maps:

Note: The index identifies geodetic elevations and corresponding Mission gauge levels.  Mission gauge levels are monitored for flooding and the City’s Flood Response Plan is based on these levels.

How You Can Prepare for a Flood

Flooding is a risk in Pitt Meadows, and it’s important to be prepared before, during and after a major flood.

Download the PreparedBC Flood Preparedness Guide and check out the following resources:

Find other information including Sandbagging Procedures, Sandbagging COVID-19 Procedures, an Evacuation Checklist, Clean-up after a Flood and more in our Resource Library.

Learn more about the City’s Flood Response Plan and Evacuation.

Planning and Flood Mitigation

The City invests in emergency planning and infrastructure maintenance and upgrades for flood mitigation, response and recovery. Current flood mitigation infrastructure in Pitt Meadows consists of 60 km of dikes, along with ditches, six pump stations, and flood boxes.

Flood Mitigation Plans
In 2019, the City received $412,000 in funding as part of the Government of Canada’s National Disaster Mitigation Program for the development of a Flood Mitigation Plan to identify gaps and establish priorities to protect residents, farms and businesses in the event of a flood or breach in our dike system. The Flood Mitigation Plan (FMP) was completed and presented to Council on December 1, 2020. This long-term plan will help to prioritize the estimated $121 million in upgrades identified and to assist with future grant applications.

In 2018, the City completed a federally-funded Flood Hazardous Risk Assessment [link to report], which showed that the City’s dike system does not meet current standards, which poses an increased risk of flooding and a potential flood-related economic loss between $489 million and $725 million.

Flood Hazard Risk Assessment Maps
The Risk Assessment provided maps for three potential flood scenarios: A one in 500 year freshet; a one in 500 year freshet, plus climate change and rising sea levels; and a storm surge event. See maps here.

Next Steps
Pitt Meadows is working with the Fraser Basin Council and Metro Vancouver to develop a regional flood management strategy to address complex inter-jurisdictional flood mitigation issues. The City continues to work closely with Metro Vancouver and the federal and provincial to address dike improvements. 

Ongoing Pump Replacements and Upgrades
The City’s six pump stations are critical for flood protection and public safety.

In 2020, the City received funding from the Province of B.C.’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to replace the Fenton Road Station pump and install a back-up generator for this location and the Baynes Road pump. This work will take place from 2020 to 2022. The City has also applied for a grant for replacement of the Kennedy Road pump in 2022.

Work is underway to replace back-up generators for the pump stations at Kennedy Road, McKechnie Road and Area 1 funded by a previous grant. This work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2021. They City is also has plans for backup generators at Pitt Polder and Alouette and has already submitted a grant application for these.

Reports

Flood response plan

The City has a flood response plan based on Fraser River levels in Mission, which may flood first. In the event of a major emergency, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be activated. The City’s emergency coordinator works closely with the Katzie First Nation’s EOC.

Resources

Flood Preparedness

Health and Drinking Water

Pets and Animals

Utilities and Appliances

Fortis BC – flood information for property owners with natural gas appliances 
BC Hydro – how to prepare for natural disasters
BC Safety Authority – gas and electrical equipment safety in floods

Other

Ministry of Transportation – Disaster Response Routes
Ministry of Environment – Integrated Flood Hazard Management
First Nations’ Emergency Services Society

 

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