Pitt Meadows Prepares for Spring Freshet

April 4, 2007


CITY OF PITT MEADOWS

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2007-05

April 4, 2007

For further information, call

Mayor Don MacLean at 604-465-2416

dmaclean@pittmeadows.bc.ca

Jake Rudolph, Chief Administrative Officer at 604-465-2413

jrudolph@pittmeadows.bc.ca

PITT MEADOWS PREPARES FOR SPRING FRESHET

PITT MEADOWS, BC: Efforts are well underway in the City of Pitt Meadows to prepare for what is expected to be a significant spring freshet this year. Current forecasts indicate the Fraser River elevations will increase from mid May until possibly July. Pitt Meadows is using every available tool to create a foundation for an enhanced level of readiness.

Rigorous preparation has been underway for several months. In addition to a stepped up program of dyke inspections and maintenance, the City has been awarded a $617,000 grant to upgrade agricultural dykes in the northeastern area of the community. The City is also seeking additional funding to augment dykes along the Fraser, Pitt and Alouette Rivers. All of these projects can be completed in the next six weeks. Dykes along the Fraser River and lower reaches of the Pitt River were upgraded in 2005. In briefing Council, Director of Operations and Development Services, Kim Grout focused on the facts basing estimates on current projections coming from the River Forecast Office and the Provincial Emergency Program. “Generally our dyking system is in very good shape-the question becomes one of how much water and for how long. “

At this time, the Provincial Emergency Program is predicting a low probability of dyke overtopping but stresses that all is contingent on snowmelt and weather. The flood of 1948 had less of a snow pack and a cool period followed by a rather dramatic rise in temperatures just prior to the flood. Conditions are very dependent on the weather. City staff and consultants are working collaboratively to finalize flood impact mapping and key emergency response plans. “With 64 kilometres of dyking and nearly 95% of the community within the floodplain we are one of the largest dyking jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland and must take this situation seriously,” added Mayor MacLean, “we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of residents and businesses within Pitt Meadows.” The municipality will be using its website (http://www.pittmeadows.bc.ca/) and local media to keep residents informed.