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
June 1, 2021: The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a High Streamflow Advisory. Please use caution near rivers, especially with children and pets. As the rising water levels could have strong currents.
- The City monitors the Pitt, Fraser and Alouette river levels. Check current levels.
- View the City’s Flood Response Plan.
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.
The City posts flood warnings and advisories on the website and social media channels. Stay tuned to local news media for updates.
- View Emergency Events & Alerts.
- Follow @EmergencyInfoBC on Twitter for notifications about Flood Watches or Flood Warnings
Do You Live in a Flood Zone?
See the City’s Flood Risk Maps:
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:
- Prepared BC Get Prepared For a Flood in BC
- Getting ready before a flood
- Staying safe during a flood
- Recovering after a flood
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.
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.
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. With 86 percent of Pitt Meadows in the floodplain, the area is divided into four drainage areas served by six pump stations. The City relies on a continuous dike system, comprising of a network of ditches, flood boxes and pumping stations for flood protection.
In 2021, work was completed on the new Pitt Polder Pump Station. The new pump station meets the current provincial standards and also includes fish-friendly pumps, allowing for the safe passage of fish, while helping keep fields arable, and benefit farming families in the community. Additional associated structural dike improvements and culvert replacements were also made, as well as all new electrical and mechanical control systems. In addition, the new station will provide annual energy efficiency and reduce emissions, as well as reduced operating, maintenance, and repair costs.
This new pump station is a critical component of our city’s diking and drainage system and provides enhanced safety and flood mitigation to over 1,650 hectares of agricultural land. For more information, read the full media release here.
Pump replacements and upgrades are also underway at the Fenton Road and Baynes Road pump stations including a back-up generator at the Baynes Road Pump Station. Back-up generators were recently installed at Kennedy Road, McKechnie Road and Fenton Road pump stations as well. These projects were partially funded by additional provincial grants.
Image of new Pitt Polder Pump Station (2021)
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.
- PreparedBC – flood preparation, response and recovery
- Red Cross – emergency preparedness information
- Get Prepared Government of Canada – emergency preparedness information
- Government of BC – Integrated flood hazard management
- Fraser Basin Council – Lower Mainland Flood Management Strategy
Health and Drinking Water
- Fraser Health Authority – flood planning
- Fraser Health – water quality advisories
- HealthLink BC – how to disinfect drinking water
Pets and Animals
- Horse Council of BC – disaster preparedness for horses
- BC Ministry of Agriculture – emergency management for agriculture
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