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Flood Warnings on Fraser River Flood Plain

Last updated: July 9, 2020 11 am

Flooding along the Fraser River can occur due to seasonal snowmelt and heavy rains. 

Fraser River Flood Plain risk areas

In the event of a flood, areas at risk in Surrey are outlined on the Fraser River Flood Plain Map

Fraser River Flood Risk

Currently there is no immediate risk for flooding. The City is monitoring water levels from BC forecast centres. Updates will be provided via our website, social media, and the Flood Information Hotline (604-591-4534). The Fraser River Flood Preparation Guide  also contains preparedness information for residents and businesses. 

Download the Fraser River Flood Preparation Guide  

Phases are triggered by change in water levels based on the Mission Gauge located 50 kilometres upstream of Surrey.

If you have a residence or business in the area at risk, please read this information thoroughly, so you know what to expect and how to prepare. It's important to educate yourself on the necessary actions that must be taken, based on the severity of this potential flood. 

Surrey’s 4 Fraser River Flood Preparedness Phases

Phase 1: Get Informed (6.0m and rising)

During Phase 1, we will keep you informed and updated of all flood precaution warnings as they occur. The most up-to-date instructions will be provided to you via:

It is important that you familiarize yourself with all phases of the Fraser River Flood Preparedness to ensure you are prepared if severe flooding occurs. ​

Phase 2: Prepare for Imminent Flooding Risk  (6.5m and rising)

Preparation for potential flooding is important to ensure the safety of your family and employees. Depending on the severity of this potential flood, following the instructions below can help reduce the impact on your home, personal belongings, and business. In extreme flood events, it can even save your life.

If you plan to make a voluntary early evacuation at this time, it is important that you self-register with the Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA) tool

General planning

Create an emergency plan and share it with your family and employees so everyone is informed on the necessary actions that should be taken, based on the severity of flooding. For help with your plan, refer to Government of Canada’s Your Emergency Preparedness Guide

Review the precautions listed under Phase 3. Make sure you understand what steps need to be taken, should the City ask that you prepare to evacuate.

Make arrangements to stay with friends or family away from the affected areas in the chance of evacuation and consider alternative living arrangements for pets.

The Emergency Support Services (ESS) Reception Centre can also provide accommodation during evacuation, in the event of a severe flood.

Prepare an emergency survival kit that is easy to carry and waterproof. It should include:

  • Food and water
  • Necessary medication
  • Medical first aid supplies
  • Battery-powered radio and spare batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Identification for each member of your household
  • Any important personal and family documents
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Warm clothing, including waterproof outer garments and footwear
  • Blankets
  • Infant care items
  • Personal toiletries

Talk to your neighbours and help each other out before, during and after a flood.

Sandbagging 

  • If constructing a sandbag dike, build it on high ground close to your home or building. This ensures fewer sandbags will be needed and the dike will be less exposed to nearby streams
  • Dig a trench one bag in depth and two bags wide as a foundation for the dike structure
  • To be effective, a dike must be three times as wide at its base as it is high

Information for businesses 

Follow these suggested actions to ensure minimum disruption to your business in the event of flooding.

Emergency Plan: Create an emergency plan including a communications plan for employees. Keep up-to-date contact information for all employees.

Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas): When you are advised of immediate danger of flooding, shut off all power, water and gas services to your business. Relocate equipment and appliances to higher levels. For equipment that is too large to be relocated, remove motors, fans and controls and store at higher levels.

Hazardous Materials: Materials like paints, solvents, oils, pesticides or any other environmentally-damaging chemicals should be moved to floors above ground level or removed from the site. Fill and anchor large fuel and water tanks and plug their vents. Propane bottles float, regardless of the amount of volume. They should be chained or secured on site, or removed from the site.

Records & Electronic Data: Remove any records, files and computer equipment from basement areas and ground floors. Move them to higher levels or to another location unlikely to be impacted by flood waters. This may be a good time to back up your data to secure storage.

Inventory and Items in Long-term Storage: These items should be relocated to higher levels or removed from your facility. If any items are stored outside the building they should be moved indoors. If any of these items will not be damaged by water, they should be tied down or moved inside.

Shop Floors and Work Areas: These areas should be clean of debris, oils, etc. Secure tanks from floating.

Logistics: Make arrangements to defer or redirect shipments. Secure or relocate valuables. Move vehicles to high ground.

Phase 3: Prepare to Evacuate  (7.0m and rising)

Listen for instructions

Have your emergency survival kit ready. When instructed, follow the precautions below for your safety and to help minimize the damage to your personal property or business.

Electrical service

  • Shut off all power to premises
  • Do not attempt to turn off power if the room is already flooded
  • If the main switch is in an area that is already wet, stand on a dry board and use a dry stick to turn switch off

Electrical Appliances

  • Disconnect all electrical appliances, and if possible, move them to a higher level
  • Thermally insulated appliances such as freezers, refrigerators and ranges should be given priority
  • Any appliances that cannot be moved should have motors, pumps, fans, etc. removed to higher levels

Gas or oil furnaces and appliances

  • Oil or water tanks will float if not full. Fill if possible, and then plug vent holes. If you are unable to fill, weigh down with sandbags or wedge against a solid object

Plumbing fixtures and water supplies

  • Turn off water supply
  • Plug all basement sewage connections, e.g. toilet, sinks, showers, etc. with a plug or other device. The plug should be held in place with a weight or wood brace to the joist above

Other precautions

  • Pesticides, weed killers, fertilizers and other articles that may cause pollution should be moved to higher levels
  • To relieve overloading the sewer system, disconnect any downspouts draining to them
  • Move or remove all furniture and valuable items that could be damaged by flooding or that may float and cause damage

Phase 4: Evacuate (7.5m and rising)

Listen for instructions. 

Self-register with the Evacuee Registration and Assistance (ERA) Tool.

Leave the area immediately when you are instructed to do so. Vacate your home or business when you are advised do so by emergency personnel. Ignoring such a warning could jeopardize the safety of your family, your employees, yourself and emergency response teams.. 

Don’t try to be a hero. Leave when you are asked to leave. Our emergency response teams are equipped and trained to deal with a flood situation. Thank you for your full cooperation in ensuring a smooth, safe evacuation and an expedient recovery.

Remember to:

  • Take your emergency survival kit 
  • Lock your home
  • Take extra care when driving
  • Avoid driving through flood waters. If your car stalls in a flooded area, abandon it. Look for information signs and emergency personnel.
  • Self-register with the Evacuee Registration and Assistance (ERA) Tool so that you can be contacted and reunited with your loved ones as well as receive Emergency Support Services including accommodation assignment.

Returning After a Flood

Listen for instructions.

Once the flood waters have receded, the City will assess the safety of the area and inspect the water supply to ensure it is safe for use.  The City will also ensure that adequate toilet facilities are available before it advises that it is safe to return.

Information for safe return to homes and businesses will be posted on this webpage, available through www.surrey.ca/floodalerts.

Preparing for cleanup 

Before moving back in, it is important to restore your home or business to good order as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further damage to the building and contents.

Cleanup could be a tedious and dangerous task. Floodwater can pick up sewage and chemicals from roads and factories. Be careful walking around. Floors may be covered with mud and debris, including nails and broken glass. Small animals may have been forced to leave their homes and take up residence in your building. Be cautious when picking up or turning over items.

Every flood-contaminated room, including floors will have to be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and surface-dried. All contaminated dishes and utensils must be thoroughly washed and disinfected. Any food, medicine, cosmetics, and toiletries exposed to flood waters must be disposed of. For clean up measures, visit Government of Canada's preparedness tips for after a flood. 

Emergency Social Services

The role of the Emergency Support Services (ESS) team, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, is to ensure that evacuated residents have the support they require until they are able to make a safe return to their homes.

  • In Phase 1, the Emergency Support Services team will assist in the preparation of communications to ensure that the affected residents and businesses are prepared for potential flooding or evacuation
  •  In Phase 2, individuals and families may choose to make an early evacuation. It is essential that they register with the ESS team through the Evacuee Registration and Assistance (ERA) Tool to provide emergency contact information.
  • In Phase 3, In the case of evacuation, an ESS reception centre may be established in the North Surrey area. Evacuees who have not already self-registered, or are unable to do so, should go directly to the ESS Reception Centre. Registering allows ESS responders to assign accommodation and provide referrals for other necessary services.
  • During Phase 4, The ESS Reception Centre will be kept open until evacuees have secured accommodation, and then will be scaled down for the duration of the flood 

ESS is available to evacuees for up to 72 hours following a disaster. The Canadian Red Cross may assist individuals and families in the recovery stage through their disaster relief program.

Emergency Social Services Contact Information