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B.C.'s surging rivers force Cache Creek evacuations, lower Fraser expected to peak early this week

Last Updated Jul 6, 2020 at 10:19 am PDT

Sandbags stacked to protect from floodwaters. (iStock)
Summary

People around Langley are keeping a close eye on water levels as the Fraser River continues to rise

A high streamflow advisory has been issued for the Lower Fraser River

High water levels have forced more than two dozen people from their homes near Cache Creek

CACHE CREEK (NEWS 1130) – Evacuation orders are in place because of extremely high water levels in the upper Fraser Canyon, with the Lower Fraser River expected to peak through Monday and Tuesday between Hope and Vancouver, forcing some communities to put a number of properties on evacuation alert.

At this point, it doesn’t appear there will be more flooding in the Township of Langley, where alerts have been issued for a number of properties. Some trails and a park are so far closed.

The large pulse of run-off from earlier heavy rains is travelling down from the Upper Fraser, Cariboo Mountains, and Thompson River systems.

Flood warnings and watches continue to be updated for the upper and middle Fraser River and there is a high streamflow advisory for the Lower Fraser from Hope to the Strait of Georgia, expected to peak Monday at Hope and late Monday or Tuesday in Mission.

Flood warnings and advisories around B.C. as of July 6, 2020. (Courtesy B.C. River Forecast Centre)

However, with rivers surging across much of southern B.C., high water levels have forced more than two dozen people from their homes near Cache Creek.

The order for the village was issued out of an abundance of caution on Sunday because of the rising Bonaparte River.

“When you issue an order like this, it’s typically in place for seven days, unless you cancel it before that. It can be extended, but we’re not expecting them to stay out for more than overnight,” Wendy Coomber with the Cache Creek Emergency Operations Centre explains. “The river is still going up a little bit, not as much as it was. It’s not levelling off enough to make us comfortable. These properties are probably the lowest places along the river.”

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She says flooding is still a possibility in the area, despite a lack of rain in the days preceeding.

“It’s very dependent on what’s happening north of us. Somebody else’s rain event turns into our flooding event. It’s a little frustrating in that sense because it’s very difficult to plan for,” Coomber notes.

This is the second time this year that the Bonaparte has forced people from their homes in Cache Creek, with high water levels forcing a few evacuations in April.