Situation Updates

December 1, 3:30 pm

Staff continue to monitor water levels and forecasts for the Chilliwack/Vedder River system around the clock. Water levels are similar to levels on November 15, but have started to drop. The levels may come up again with additional rain forecast for this afternoon and evening, but even if the highest flow forecast were to occur, it would be within the capacity of our dike system. Staff will continue dike patrols and to closely monitor changing conditions. Current forecasts for the Nooksack River show it is unlikely to result in overflow to the Sumas River.

Due to the excessive amount of rain and high-water levels in storm drainage systems, there are many flooded basements throughout the city. With each rainfall event, the ground becomes more saturated, making it easier for rain to find its way into the sanitary sewer system. As a result, the City’s sanitary sewer system is at capacity. The City has seven vacuum trucks attending to backups throughout the community, and reminds residents to reduce excess water use for non-essential purposes (ex. laundry) in order to help the system catch up.

If you have experienced flooding in your basement, visit the Province’s website for clean up tips, information on managing risks, and making insurance claims.

December 1, 11 am

Last night there was a slide on Marble Hill Road near Ramsay Place. Crews are doing a thorough assessment of the slide now that it is light out. Thornton Road has slumped due to the rain and one lane is currently closed with staff on-site. There was also a slide on Alma Avenue, but it is contained by a retaining wall. Crews will be on site to attend to downed trees. Sloughing on Camp River Road will require a lane closure, and staff are on site there as well.

Due to the excessive amount of rain and high-water levels in storm drainage systems, there are reports of many flooded basements throughout the city. Crews continue to deal with localized flooding in internal ditch and storm drainage systems throughout Chilliwack. All creeks are currently flowing at very high levels, which is preventing storm water from being able to drain out of urban storm water drainage systems. Residents are reminded to please limit unnecessary excess water use (ex. laundry) in order to not overload the sanitary sewer system.

More rain is in the forecast for into this evening. Crews were out throughout last night inspecting and clearing culverts and will continue addressing the impacts of the storm. A list of resources is available on the City’s website to help those impacted by localized flooding. 

November 30, 1 pm

Environment Canada warns that the current weather pattern will continue for BC until Thursday, December 2, and has advised that the coming storm may heighten the risk of landslides and flooding throughout the province. Power outages are possible from moderate to strong winds. City staff continue monitoring our rivers, dikes, storm drains, ditches and culverts in anticipation of heavy rainfall tonight. The current Nooksack forecast shows that the level at Everson has receded substantially but the river system remains under a flood watch. This is highly dependent on the rainfall that occurs in the basin. Staff will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further updates as required. The forecast for the Vedder River has also been reduced from previous forecasts and is expected to remain below our dikes.

Crews are dealing with localized flooding in internal ditch and storm drainage systems throughout Chilliwack. The creeks in our area are flowing at very high levels due to the prolonged rain events. High water levels in our creeks prevent storm water from being able to drain out of the urban storm water drainage systems. Even though water levels in major rivers may be dropping, the creeks need a few days of dry weather to allow water levels to decrease. Once the rain tapers off, water levels in drainage creeks should start to noticeably drop within a few days.

Residents are reminded to please limit unnecessary excess water use (ex. laundry) in order to not overload the sanitary sewer system. As local drainage systems and creeks are at capacity, residents should take appropriate measures to protect their homes with the use of sump pumps and/or sandbags. Sand and bags remain available at Yarrow Sports Field and Townsend Park to help support those efforts. Residents can also help prevent localized flooding by clearing leaves and debris off of nearby street drains.

Significant progress on road and culverts repairs has happened over the last two weeks and crews continue working around the clock to clear roadways, culverts and drains. Information about road closures, trail closures, and updates will continue to be posted at chilliwack.com/floodwatch.

November 29, 3:30pm

City staff continue to closely monitor weather and river forecasts in anticipation of the next storm, which is projected to arrive in Chilliwack late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Current rainfall projections call for up to 100mm of rainfall over the course of the storm. Residents may experience localized flooding as a result of this third storm.

River flows will not have much time to reduce between the rain events, and local rivers levels are expected to rise again as a result of the storm. The Vedder River is currently projected to rise to 600-700 m3/s. The surrounding dike is designed to approximately 1,350 m3/s. Low points on the Vedder Rotary Trail will likely sustain more damage. Please stay off the trails, as all trails are currently closed in Chilliwack.

November 29, 11:00am

City crews worked all weekend to mitigate any negative impacts of the storm. This included cleaning culverts and drains, clearing debris from roadways, and dealing with small mudslides throughout the night. While many ditches are very full of rain water, river levels did not come close to topping Chilliwack dikes. Read the full situation update.

November 28, 4:00pm

The Nooksack River has overflowed at Everson. The interreceptor dike system in Abbotsford is designed to direct this water to the Sumas River and then flow out to the Fraser River at the Barrowtown pump station floodbox. City staff will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates. 

November 28, 11:00am

By 4am, Chilliwack received around 80mm of rain and crews worked overnight patrolling dikes, culverts, clearing culverts and keeping drainage courses clear of debris. Crews will continue to work throughout the day and into tonight. We are already experiencing some localized flooding on roads. Staff will continue to monitor water levels throughout the day and post updates as the situation changes.

Due to all the rain, our sewer system is once again taking in a lot of water. In order to help out the sewer system and prevent backups, we are asking that all residents reduce their water use in things like laundry until Thursday (Dec. 2). If needed, pre-filled sandbags are currently available at Townsend Park and in Yarrow at the Masonite Door parking lot (Yarrow Central and No. 3 Road). Sand and bags are available for self-fill at the Yarrow sports field.

Today's Nooksack forecast shows flows below flood stage, but staff continue to closely monitor water levels from a variety of sources and will provide updates as necessary.

November 27, 1:45pm

The rainfall warning in effect today forecasts 70-120mm for the Fraser Valley, with the rain tapering off on Sunday afternoon. Winds are expected between 30-50kph. A storm is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing another 50-75mm of rain. As a result of the rain, a flood watch is in effect for the Fraser Valley. Staff continue to monitor all weather and river forecasts, including the Nooksack, and will provide flooding updates if they are needed. The Ministry of Transportation has issued multiple travel advisories and planned highway closures. Please check Drivebc.ca for the latest highway updates. For local road closures, visit chilliwack.com/floodwatch.

November 26, 12:00pm

City staff are closely monitoring the three atmospheric rivers that are set to hit Chilliwack over the next week, including potential risks related to flooding and landslides. While our local rivers are expected to rise due to the coming rain, the City’s dikes are designed to contain the flow projected for the Chilliwack River. The Fraser River is currently not forecasted to rise enough to cause flooding concerns, but it may impact Abbotsford’s Barrowtown pump station output. Crews continue to monitor hillside roads, culverts and major drainage ditches. Crews will work throughout the weekend to deal with any adverse impacts caused by the forecasted heavy rainfall. Drainage pump stations are all running normally and are on storm mode for the weekend. Water levels at all stations are currently at the low-level mark. Residents can help by clearing leaves off any storm drain catch basin grates close to their residence. If needed, sand and bags remain available at Yarrow Sports Field and Townsend Park. Remember to bring your own shovel. Please avoid Majuba Hill Road due to ongoing construction. Updates will be provided as needed at chilliwack.com/floodwatch.

November 25, 2:15 pm

As of November 26, 2021, the Emergency Support Services Reception Centre will be located at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre at Chilliwack Secondary School (46361 Yale Road) for anyone needing immediate assistance. The centre will be open 8:30 am - 6 pm daily.

November 25, 12:50 pm

A rainfall warning is in effect for our region. Our pump stations are operating normally and at full capacity. Our crews are working around the clock monitoring hillside roads, culverts, and major drainage ditches, and continue to work on repairs. Staff continue to carefully monitor forecasts and river levels for both the Nooksack and our local rivers. Although water levels are predicted to rise this weekend, the City’s dikes are designed to contain the flow projected in the most recent “Chilliwack River at Vedder Crossing” chart from the BC River Forecast Centre. Should the situation change, information will be shared with media outlets, including local radio stations, posted on social media, and at chilliwack.com/floodwatch.

A graph showing the BC River Centre Forecast for Chilliwack River at Vedder Crossing
Image: A graph showing the BC River Forecast Centre's forecast for
Chilliwack River at Vedder Crossing on November 25, 2021.

November 24, 2:50pm

Weather Update:
City staff have been monitoring weather and river forecasts on a continual basis in order to assess potential implications to Chilliwack. According to Environment Canada, a rainfall warning will be in effect starting tonight (Nov. 24) and all-day Thursday, with amounts estimated between 50-80mm. Heavy rain is expected on Saturday morning, with over 50mm expected between Saturday and Sunday. A high stream flow advisory has also been issued for the Fraser Valley, and experts are expecting stream flow responses in both the Vedder and Fraser Rivers from the weekend storm. Staff continue to work hard repairing road and landslide damage from the last storm and will continue to monitor the situation. Critical updates will be posted at chilliwack.com/floodwatch, should the need arise. The provincial government has also prepared a list of actions residents can take to prepare for stormy weather.

Nooksack River Update:
City staff monitor weather and river levels through a variety of sources to thoroughly consider potential impacts on Chilliwack, including long-range forecasts of the Nooksack at Cedarville. Based on the current forecast, it is not projected to reach the level where overflow at Everson will occur. Due to the changing nature of long-range forecasts, staff continue to monitor multiple sources and prepare for the worst-case scenario.

November 23, 1:00 pm

BC’s River Forecast Centre analyses snow pack, assesses seasonal water supply and flood risk, and predicts flows in BC’s rivers and streams. City staff utilize their bulletins, maps, and warnings to stay on top of upcoming streamflow conditions and prepare for potential impacts to Chilliwack. Yesterday, the River Forecast Centre reported that Thursday’s pending storm doesn’t appear to pose a substantial risk. The Centre currently predicts a series of storms starting Sunday and continuing through next week. Staff will continue to monitor this long-range forecast and are inspecting City dikes, clearing storm drains, and installing new culverts in preparation.

November 22, 9:30 am

The water levels in Yarrow have gone down approximately 5 inches since yesterday. Work continues on road repairs and trail maintenance. Vedder Mountain Road is closed west of Cultus Lake Road for urgent road reconstruction.

November 21, 1:25 pm

Crews will continue to monitor water levels and work on road repairs through the weekend. Staff observed a small reduction in water levels overnight. Sewer and drainage stations continue to operate normally. Work is underway to remove silt and debris from various locations along the Vedder Rotary Trail. All hillside trails remain closed at this time. Please respect trail closures.

November 21, 12:40 pm

After carefully monitoring the flood situation in Abbotsford, the City of Chilliwack is lifting the evacuation alert for Yarrow and Majuba Hill, except for the nine properties that remain under evacuation order. (Press release)

November 20, 12:30 pm

City staff continue to monitor water levels around the clock and observed a 1cm rise in the water level at Boundary and Sand Roads over night. All City drainage stations are operating within normal parameters, and sewer stations and the treatment plant are back to normal operation. The Vedder River continues to drop. Crews are working over the weekend to clear and repair many roads within the city. Visit Chilliwack.com/floodwatch for the most up-to-date information on road closures and openings.

November 20, 9:30 am

Staff received word that the Fraser River was low enough for the City of Abbotsford to open their flood gates this morning at 1:49am. They are still working to repair their dike breach. City of Chilliwack crews remain busy this weekend monitoring water levels and performing road repairs.

November 19, 3 pm

The Chilliwack Emergency Support Services Reception Centre is moving to Evergreen Hall. If you need assistance, please register at 9291 Corbould Street. Almost 900 people have been registered in the past few days. Thank you to all of the hardworking volunteers who have made this possible!

November 19 11:25 am - Situation Update from the Mayor

In Mayor Popove’s video update, he reminds residents that while flooding in Abbotsford has the potential to impact Yarrow, the situation is not the same in our community. Our engineers are monitoring the situation in Abbotsford around the clock and are up-to-date on water levels, dike failures in Abbotsford, the status of the measures Abbotsford is taking, and the Abbotsford pump station. For more details, watch the video above or at https://youtu.be/6EkDl_yQBsA

November 18, 8:30pm

The community of Yarrow remains under evacuation alert as a precaution in case water levels start to rise more rapidly. The water rose approximately 150mm (6 inches) today. The key issue is the floodbox at the Barrowtown pump station. If the Fraser River continues to recede then the floodbox can be opened and the water levels throughout the basin will stabilize then start to fall.

City staff are on site 24 hours a day monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of residents.

Hydraulic Model Results, 200 Year Flood (PDF)

November 18, 2:30 pm

City crews continue to monitor water levels in Yarrow. Since this morning, the water has gone up only 3 inches on Boundary Road. This rise is well within the levels staff were expecting and there is no imminent danger to residents. The Barrowtown pump station remains in operation and we anticipate water levels will start dropping once Abbotsford opens the gates on their flood boxes. The flood boxes are large culverts that allow water to flow by gravity and can move water much faster than the pumps. The water level on the Fraser River needs to come down a little more before the gates can be opened.

November 18, 9:45 am

City staff monitored water levels overnight and have reported no significant changes. Flooding is contained to the edge of Boundary Road and water levels have dropped at the Mission gauge. Today’s forecasted rainfall is minimal and not expected to impact the situation. Police remain stationed at Boundary Road and are reminding people that there is no entrance into Abbotsford through Yarrow at this time. The evacuation alert remains in place and residents should be prepared to leave the area if needed.

Our crews continue to work on debris removal from landslides, slope instability issues, and road repairs throughout the city. Due to the storm, 14 homes have been evacuated in Chilliwack due to landslides and slop instability. Staff are working directly with those homeowners. Road closures and re-opening are posted at chilliwack.com/floodwatch.

November 17, 4:50 pm

After carefully monitoring the flood situation in Abbotsford, the City of Chilliwack is downgrading the evacuation order for Yarrow and Majuba Hill to an evacuation alert, except for 3630 Sand Road; 3510, 3480, 3410, and 3300 Boundary Road; and 41375, 41419, 41475 and 41509 No. 5 Road. These nine properties remain under evacuation order. Details here.

November 17 11:30am - Situation Update from the Mayor

November 17, 11:25 am

Last night, the situation in Abbotsford continued to pose a threat of flooding in Yarrow. Chilliwack staff monitored water levels throughout the evening and remained in contact with Abbotsford for regular updates on the status of their Barrowtown pump station. Chilliwack residents, Operations staff and firefighters helped build a 25 metre long sand bag wall to protect the pump station. Learn more here.

November 16, 9:07pm

Further to the evacuation ordered for the community of Yarrow earlier today, we urge all residents that have not yet evacuated the area to leave immediately due to an imminent threat to life and safety. The City continues to monitor the situation and will post updates as more information becomes available. Evacuees that require assistance can proceed directly to the ESS Reception Centre at the Chilliwack Landing Sports Centre at 45530 Spadina Avenue. Please note that all other areas of Chilliwack are not under the threat of flooding.

November 16, 7:00 PM

The Emergency Support Services Reception Centre at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre closed at 7:00 pm. It will re-open tomorrow (Nov. 17) at 8:00am. Evergreen Hall (9291 Corbould Street) remains open for anyone needing immediate assistance.

Tourism Chilliwack has partnered with the Chilliwack Chamber in supporting the City and Reception Centre with housing evacuees and all guests finding themselves without shelter in Chilliwack. If you or someone you know is in need of housing, please call 604.392.1183 between 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM to request assistance. Residents who have extra space available and are willing to assist those requiring shelter can contact Leanna at the Chilliwack Chamber via email leanna@chilliwackchamber.com to register.

November 16, 5:00 PM

As water continues to flow onto the Sumas Prairie, the community of Yarrow remains under an evacuation order. Residents are requested to stay away from the area until the order is rescinded. City staff will continue to monitor the area and water levels overnight and provide an update in the morning. (Full update)

November 16, 10:15 AM

In response to the potential danger that may arise due to flooding, the City of Chilliwack has issued an EVACUATION ORDER for the community of Yarrow. Residents should register at the Reception Centre. Due to the highway closures and extremely limited hotel availability, evacuees are strongly encouraged to stay with family and friends. To get to the reception centre, affected residents in Yarrow should use Boundary Road to Keith Wilson, over Keith Wilson Bridge. From there multiple routes can be used (ex. Vedder Road, Lickman Road).

November 15, 7:35 PM

The reception centre at 46363 Yale Road is now closed. Evacuees requiring assistance this evening can call Chris Wilson, Assistant Fire Chief and Emergency Program Coordinator, at 604.316.4967. Due to the highway closures and extremely limited hotel availability, evacuees are strongly encouraged to stay with family and friends.

November 15, 4:20 PM

Crews will be working throughout the evening to remove debris from roads, divert water flows, update road closures, and monitor the capacity of our sewer system. To report flooding on roadways, landslides, or debris blocking roads throughout the night, please contact our emergency after hours number at 604.792.2233. Your patience is appreciated as we deal with high call volumes.

November 15, 2:00 PM

The City of Chilliwack has declared a State of Local Emergency as of 12:30 pm on Monday, November 15 due to risks associated with flooding. An evacuation order has been issued for several properties in the areas of the 47000 block of Yale Road and the 47000 block of Chartwell Drive in response to the risk associated with flooding. Affected residents have been notified by officials and should leave the area immediately. Evacuees should register at the Chilliwack Emergency Support Services reception centre.

November 15, 10:00 AM

Chilliwack and the surrounding area are experiencing a rainfall event exceeding a 1 in 100 year return period. This means local drainage systems are overwhelmed, especially in low lying areas, and people should expect localized flooding including wet yards and basements. The City is currently experiencing very high call volumes and is working hard to prioritize calls. Many residents are experiencing flooding in basements and should take the appropriate measures to protect their homes with the use of sump pumps and/or sandbags. The City has supplied sandbags and sand at Townsend Park to help support those efforts.

Please call to report the following situations on City streets:

  • Mudslides or erosion
  • Backed up drains

What you can do to help emergency crews:

  • Please do not use water for non-essential purposes (e.g. laundry) at this time. This will give our sewer system time to catch up.
  • If you have a catch basin near your home and you are able, please keep it clear of leaves and debris.

Information about road closures and City facilities will continue to be updated on our website at chilliwack.com/floodwatch.

November 15, 8:30 AM

Vedder Road at Petawawa: a detour is now in place to allow essential traffic through. Avoid the area if you are able. If you must take this route, expect long delays.

November 15, 6:31 AM

Vedder Road is closed in both directions at Petawawa due to downed power lines, a fallen pole, and debris on the road. BC Hydro is expected on site shortly. Until the road is cleared, please use an alternate route.

November 14, 2021 at 6:00 PM

The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a flood watch warning for the Chilliwack/Vedder River systems. City staff are responding to drainage issues and performing dike patrols. The river is expected to peak on Monday and forecasted river levels are within the capacity of the dike system. City staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts. Updates will be provided as necessary.

Due to the high stream flows, the following parking areas along the Vedder Greenway will be closed until further notice:

  • Vedder Park
  • Peach Park
  • Lickman Parking lot
  • Keith Wilson Bridge
  • No. 3 Road
  • Browne Road
  • Giesbrecht Road

Please stay away from the Vedder River (including adjacent trails) and other fast moving water.

Attachments
Description Date File Size 
CC-3 Hydraulic Model Results, 200 Year Flood 2021-11-18 2.42MB