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Spring flood in Delta unlikely
The risk of flooding in Delta is minimal this season, according to the municipality's engineering department.
During the late spring, low-lying areas are vulnerable to rising water levels along the Fraser River caused by the spring freshet—or melting of the snowpack.
Factors such as a relatively cool spring followed by sudden warm temperatures can cause an accelerated snowmelt and rise in river levels, thereby increasing the risk of flooding.
Deputy director of engineering, Hugh Fraser, discussed the potential for spring freshet flooding at a Delta Chamber of Commerce business meeting last week.
His presentation concluded that flooding is unlikely this season, since the snowpack is at an average level.
But, given the cooler-than-normal spring, the municipality remains prepared for any potential increase in water flow and rise in water levels along the river.
When the Fraser River reaches six metres at the Mission Guage, Delta will activate its emergency operations centre. If the Mission Guage hits seven metres, flood advisories may be issued.
As of May 25, water levels at that point were 4.5 metres.
Delta's two major floods, in 1894 and 1948, were both a result of this spring freshet. Both began May 26.
Today, Delta's dikes surround the entire lowland area, protecting the community from high water levels along the river, the Strait of Georgia and Boundary Bay.