Residents living along the Fraser River were taking the rising water in stride Thursday, as water levels are still not directly threatening many homes.
“This is crazy,” said Leanne Doerksen, as she and Rob Cantryn checked out the water at Derby Reach Regional Park on Thursday afternoon.
An outgoing tide had dropped water levels since that morning, when water had flowed over a road that normally services riverside campsites.
The campsites have been closed for several days now, and nearby residents have been given evacuation alerts.
Cantryn and Doerksen are among those on alert, but they say the river will have to rise another four or five feet to come near their home.
“I don’t think it’s going to reach the house,” Cantryn said.
While few buildings were affected, fields near Allard Crescent, and many areas along 88th Avenue east of Armstrong Road, were under water.
The water was edging onto roads such as 88th Avenue and 264th Street in places, seeping up from flooded pastures and berry fields, but it was no deeper than puddles and did not stop drivers.
Bill Gillis of Metro Vancouver Parks was shutting down the water supply at the Derby Reach campsite.
He pointed out that the on-site caretaker had been forced to move his camper out of the park for the duration of the high water. A satellite dish was partly submerged in the river.
“Everybody wants to know what’s going on,” Gillis said. “Mainly, when is the camping opening back up.”
Parts of other Metro Vancouver parks are more severely affected, with one trail on Brae Island now hip-deep in water.
About 147 Langley residences have been put on evacuation alert, but no evacuation has been ordered. Residents are simply being told to be ready to leave quickly if they have to.
The water level at the Mission gauge on the Fraser River showed 6.087 Thursday afternoon, high but far from dangerous for most homes in the floodplain.
River levels were expected to peak in the Lower Mainland Thursday or Friday.
Several nearby areas were added to the flood evacuation alert measures, including Barnston Island and parts of Maple Ridge.