I was told yesterday that I should have a flood evacuation plan ready for the up coming flood season, usually for the month of June. That made me stop an think because even in the last “Really Big Flood” of (1948???) where I live, the water never reached this level, but caused Fort Langley to become one large island surrounded by water from the Fraser River. So, it would seem that what is being predicted could be far more devastating that what happened in the 1940s. I do live on land that is quite high up from the current river level; however, my elevation is only about 5 metres above the mean level of the river.
But in the 1940s, three things happened that made that flood unprecedented. First my location along the river puts me well within the estuary, another words, we do see tides from the pacific ocean, but only very slight in terms of changes in water level. So if there is a really high tide during the cresting of the river, that would cause levels to increase by several centimetres. Second, there of course would be the snow packs themselves up in the mountains, that, along with super warm weather would cause a massive sudden melt, increasing the runoff to simultaneously occur. Lastly, as it did in the 1948 flood, a very large spring storm, something like the Pineapple Express, where high winds, lots of rain: all this pushing from the West. So these are warning signs.
Today I put into place an action plan, that in the invent I may need to evacuate, I would have somewhere to go and protect my personal property. Following the guide lines that the Disaster Response Program in BC suggested, I have an emergency kit, and an evacuation plan in the even that I need to relocate. It is such an sobering thought to have being told that a possible flood could occur and that even after sixty years of dyke and levy work along the shores, floods could still paralyze the Fraser Valley.