Vedder River Flood Protection

Water levels rise on the Vedder River during the spring and summer as a result of snowmelt, but the larger floods on the Vedder River occur in the fall and winter, brought on by heavy rainfall or rain-on-snow events. 

The fall and winter flood events are short duration, generally only lasting 1 to 2 days.  Water levels rise quickly and advance warning is limited due to limitations in predicting rainfall events. 

A Flood Response Plan for the Vedder River has been developed, and was presented to Council on September 6, 2011.  The presentation to Council can be viewed at the bottom of this webpage.   A copy of the slides is also available for download

General flood preparedness information for residents can be found on our Flood Protection webpage.  Advisories and information are also available from the Provincial River Forecast Centre.

Refer also to for additional information on sediment removal.

Flood Response Plan Stages

A brief outline of the flood response plan stages is provided.  Actions will depend on observed conditions and forecasts from Environment Canada or the BC River Forecast Centre.

Phase I - Pre-Flooding Activities

  • Triggered by weather forecast, heavy rain, rising water or River Forecast Centre report
  • Preparatory work
    • Flood Response Plan review
    • Preliminary notifications
    • Trail closures

Phase II - Rising Water

  • Water levels reach bankfull and rising
  • Daily dyke patrols
  • Monitoring of erosion and debris sites
  • Emergency Operations Centre may be activated
  • Evacuation alerts and orders for unprotected floodplain are considered
  • Public updates

Phase III - Minor Flooding

  • River has risen beyond its banks, water levels within 2.0 m of dyke crest and rising
  • Hourly dyke patrols
  • Monitoring of erosion and debris sites
  • Evacuation alerts for protected floodplain are considered

Phase IV - Severe Flooding

  • High water is within 1.0 metre of the dyke crest and rising
  • May be triggered at a lower water level, if there is an observed risk of dyke breach
  • 24-hour continuous dyke patrols
  • Monitoring of erosion and debris sites
  • Evacuation orders for protected floodplain are considered

Phase V - Clean Up

  • Assessment of affected area and damage inventory
  • Clean up of roads and utilities
  • Evacuation order rescinded with availability of clean drinking water and sanitation systems
  • Disaster Financial Assistance applications

River Gauges

There are two gauges on the Chilliwack/Vedder River system that are maintained by Environment Canada (Water Survey of Canada):

Chilliwack River Above Slesse Creek -

Chilliwack River Near Vedder Crossing -

Description Date File Size 
Vedder River Flood Response Plan Presentation 2011-09-07 5.66MB 

2016 Vedder River and Canal Sediment Removal

2016 sediment removal operations on the Vedder River for flood protection purposes is complete as of September 29, 2016. Gravel has been stockpiled at Giesbrecht, Bergman, Yarrow, Greendale and Hooge stockpile locations. This material will be hauled off-site over the next several months. Thank you for your patience as this work is being carried out.

2016 Sediment Removal Updates

Vedder Canal Dykes Restricted Access

Over the past 2 years, the City has experienced an increase in vandalism and theft at its two drainage pump stations located on the Vedder Dyke.