A cool spring has increased the long-term flood threat in BC
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Friday, May 6, 2022
Good Morning Reader!
There was a moment in my childhood that my kids know well because the story has been told to them frequently (often at their insistence). One day, my brother and I had fully exhausted my momโ€™s patience. We were in the kitchen, and as she lectured (yelled at?) us, she moved to punctuate her words by banging the nearby table with her fist. The fist clenched a closed, plastic ketchup bottle. And the pressure in that container must have been building, because when it hit the table it exploded like an over-inflated balloon. Ketchup coated the walls. Ketchup coated the ceiling. Ketchup coated my mom. The ketchup endured long after it was wiped from the ceiling fan. Today, my kids laugh every time their grandma tells the story. Happy Mothersโ€™ Day. โ€”Tyler Olsen, managing editor

Todayโ€™s weather: 🌧 13 C
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High above BC's rivers, large amounts of snow have yet to melt. 📷 Tyler Olsen
Cool temperatures and the growing flood threat

A cool spring has left BCโ€™s rivers below their seasonal levels, but that has actually increasing the risk of flooding over the coming month, forecasters are warning. And with last yearโ€™s disaster still fresh in the minds of many, government officials are urging people to know their local risk and prepare their properties in case the waters rise again.

Only a month ago, the flooding situation was relatively benign, with the snowpacks that feed the provinceโ€™s rivers close to normal. But Aprilโ€™s cool temperatures, coupled with more snow at high elevations, has worsened the situation.

In the spring, much of the water in BCโ€™s rivers comes from snow that accumulated at high elevations over the preceding winter. And much of it sticks around into June. Even when there is a lot of snow, rivers can generally accommodate the water that flows from a gradual, steady melt. The danger of flooding increases when that melt is compressed into a short period.

A speedy melt is more likely later in the year, when the weather is warmer and extended heat waves are more likely. In other words, the lack of warm weather now is not necessarily a good thing. And the longer BC goes without a spell of decent weather in the mountains, the more the danger rises.

Today, Tyler writes about the Fraser Riverโ€™s increasing flood danger and why, even if the risk today is only โ€˜moderate,โ€™ officials say residents should educate themselves on their local flood situation and safeguard their properties.

Yesterday: Preserving a communityโ€™s origin stories
Need to Know
🔎 A Chilliwack teenager has been missing since April 27 [Chilliwack RCMP]

โš– Three justices quickly dismissed the appeal of a Chilliwack woman convicted of a fatal 2016 hit-and-run [Chilliwack Progress]

🚔 Ten guns and tens of thousands of fentanyl doses were seized over a month in Surrey, Langley, and Burnaby [Langley Advance Times]

โŒš The opening of the Ferny Combe Pool in Agassiz will be delayed until Monday [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

โ˜บ TODAYโ€™S SMILE: Cycling Without Age is again up and running in Yarrow; check out this delightful short video (and turn up the volume) [YouTube]

The Vancouver Giants are still playing, the Fraser Valley Bandits will hit the court soon, and the Abbotsford Canucks are done for the year. 📷 Vancouver Giants; Fraser Valley Bandits; Darren Francis/Abbotsford Canucks
The Agenda
The Abbotsford Canucksโ€™ inaugural American Hockey League season came to an abrupt end Wednesday night in California. The Bakersfield Condors squeaked out a 3-2 victory over the Canucks to win their best-of-three series and end the Canucksโ€™ season early. Although the Canucks didnโ€™t play a home playoff game, another Fraser Valley-based team is still playing hockey. The Vancouver Giants, who play in the Langley Events Centre, advanced to the second round of the Western Hockey League playoffs, where they will play the Kamloops Blazers. The series gets underway tonight in Kamloops. Games three and four are scheduled for May 10 and 12 at the Langley Events Centre. Tickets are available here. Meanwhile, the Fraser Valley Bandits are gearing up for their new season in Langley. Tickets went on sale this week for the teamโ€™s first home game in early June. This will be the teamโ€™s first season at the Langley Events Centre after three years based out of Abbotsford.

After the success, and struggles, of Chilliwackโ€™s first pump track, the city will be spending another $90,000 to build one designed for younger bike users. The new "mini pump track" will be built beside the existing pump track, and will have two loops. The first, internal look will be made for kick bikes, striders, tricycles, and mobility aids like wheelchairs. The outer loop will help riders learn the "pump" technique for properly riding on pump tracks. The track is expected to cost around $166,000โ€”approximately $75,000 of that cost will be paid for by the Chilliwack Mt. Cheam Rotary Club in return for naming rights. A playground is already where the new pump track will be built, and the city will relocate that playground nearby.
COVID latest
We have rejigged our now-weekly COVID section in light of the provinceโ€™s new reporting practices. In addition to providing limited information on a weekly basis, the province is also regularly updating information from previous weeks. That makes comparing the two most recent weeks difficult without providing a longer-range snapshot of trends.The charts above will be updated each week with the new information and retroactive changes to show a more complete picture of COVID in the province.

New weekly cases reported (April 24-30): Fraser Health 867 / BC 2,283
New hospital admissions
(April 24-30): Fraser Health 157 / BC 375
COVID patients in ICU: Fraser Health 10 / BC 39
New deaths of people with COVID: Fraser Health 10 / BC 50

Around Town
👟 Chlliwackโ€™s Run for Mom, a fundraiser for Chilliwack General Hospitalโ€™s maternity department, starts at 9am this Sunday on the Rotary Trail. Details online.

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