Flood Preparedness

Flood Response Plan

Every year, Engineering & Public Works prepares for the possibility of flooding. Preparations include updating the flood plan, practicing repair and mitigation measures and training personnel.

The City of Coquitlam has an extensive flood response plan that includes:

  • Assessment of flood risk areas
  • Daily monitoring of river levels
  • Flood preparedness
  • Flood action plan
  • Evacuation planning
  • Flood risk assessment

The City of Coquitlam monitors both the Pitt River and Fraser River during times of potential flooding. An assessment of the flood protection measures that are already in place or can be added to reduce the impact of floods has been completed. This assessment includes a review of existing dikes and drainage systems, as well as a review of the properties and buildings that may be below the flood level.

Coquitlam’s flood action plan includes measures to respond to either a three- or four-metre flood level. Primary response measures include:

  • Stop logs to block Nelson Creek and Como Creek to prevent flooding north of United Boulevard. 
  • Temporary pumps installed in-stream to pump creek flows over the stop logs. 
  • Sand bagging in targeted areas to limit extent of flooding and protect critical infrastructure.
  • Possible road closures.

Daily Monitoring During Increased Risk of Flooding

City staff will closely monitor reports from the Provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - River Forecast Centre which provides updates on river levels and flood risks as well as reports on the snow packs across the province.

City of Coquitlam Flood Preparedness

In addition to assessing existing flood protection, the City of Coquitlam is prepared for possible flooding by having on hand items such as sandbags, temporary portable dams and pumps that can be used to redirect water flow.

City staff regularly clears culverts and inspects dikes to ensure there are no blockages that would prevent proper drainage.  Before the spring freshet, staff will inspect all dikes, critical intakes, outfalls, culverts, and catch basins to ensure they are functioning properly.

When a rain storm is forecast, during significant rain storms and after snow falls when the melt is occurring, staff will continually check the critical intakes, outfalls, culverts and catch basins to ensure they are clear.​

Flood Preparedness Questions & Answers

Background

The City of Coquitlam is committed to protecting the city and residents and monitors status reports of the snow pack, river levels and the potential for flooding along the Pitt and Fraser Rivers. A Flood Response Plan has been prepared and includes both flood preparedness work and how the City will respond if river levels reach a stage where flooding occurs.

Businesses will be impacted the most in the case of a potential flood. Businesses are encouraged to conduct Business Continuity Planning.

Questions & Answers

When is the potential for flooding the greatest?

While flooding could occur any time of the year, the greatest risk for flooding is during the spring freshet.  This is the period when temperatures start to rise, causing snow packs to melt.  This is when river levels are traditionally at their highest.

What area of Coquitlam will be affected by flooding?

Please have a look at the area map below for areas which may be impacted by possible flooding.

City of Coquitlam Floodplain Map

Fraser Coquitlam & Pitt River Flood Extents Map

The map represents the extent of flooding that could occur during a “design” flood event based on the topography of the land (assuming there are no dikes). The design flood is typically based on a 1 in 200 year flood which means there is a 0.5% chance of occurring in any one year. However, the design flood for the Fraser River is based on river discharges from a major flood that occurred in 1894.

The flood plain mapping extents also includes an allowance for sea level rise.

Does insurance cover flooding and costs of evacuating?

It is important to contact your insurance provider to confirm if flooding and the costs of evacuating are included in your insurance policy. Business continuity insurance may be available.

Can other cities be affected by flooding?

Cities located along the Fraser and Pitt Rivers are at risk of potential flooding. These cities include Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Hope, Ken/Harrison, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Langley, Surrey, Delta, Port Coquitlam, New Westminster, Burnaby and Richmond.

What does the City do to prepare for flooding?

The City of Coquitlam actively prepares for possible flooding every year. Preparations include:

  • Monitoring river levels and inspecting dikes
  • Updating a flood response plan
  • Publishing information brochures
  • Forming contingency plans
  • Preparing a transportation evacuation plan 

What are the possible impacts of flooding?

  • Limited or closed parking
  • Limited access or closed roads
  • Power/electrical shut off
  • Gas shut off

If the highways are closed, where will traffic be re-routed to?

Traffic will be routed to higher elevation arterial roads.

How do I find out if my building is built above flood levels?

Please have a look at the City of Coquitlam Floodplain Map below and you can see areas which may be impacted by possible flooding – the Pitt River Flood Extent in a lighter blue, and the Fraser and Coquitlam River Flood extent in a darker blue. If you have any questions or are unsure about where your building is located on the map, please contact Engineering & Public Works at 604-927-3500.

Will the City provide sandbags?

The City does not providing sandbags. The City makes every effort to protect residents, businesses and assets from the effects of potential flooding. Every individual resident and business has a responsibility to protect their building from the effects of flooding. Sand is available from local gravel pits and landscape supply stores. For more information on how you can prepare your building, visit the Emergency Management BC website.

Where can I get more information on how to protect my property from flooding?

The Emergency Management BC website is where you can find information on how to protect your property and assets as well as emergency preparedness information. There are also links to provincial and federal sites which have information on what those levels of government are doing to prepare.

Can we build our own dikes to ensure access to our building is protected?

Property owners can sandbag or dike their properties. For more information on how you can prepare your building, visit the Emergency Management BC website.

My property is not in the floodplain – will it be impacted?

Although some properties are not within the potential flood plain, they could be indirectly impacted by road closures and/or cancellation of utilities. Utilities like electricity, gas and phone networks will likely be shut off in flooded areas by service providers. Some properties may fall within the same grid as the flooded areas, which would result in a lack of services for you as well. Please contact your utility providers for further information.

How can I get disaster financial assistance?

The Provincial government has a Disaster Financial Assistance program that is administered through the Provincial Emergency Program. Please visit the Emergency Management BC website for more information on whether or not you may be eligible.

What safety issues do I need to consider after a flooding event?

The safety of human life takes precedence over all other considerations. Safety issues that must be considered in the case of a flooding event are hazardous materials, biohazards, debris, contamination, mold, utilities and damage to property.

What are the possibilities of the Coquitlam River flooding?

The Coquitlam River is protected by the BC Hydro Dam and is generally not affected by Freshet flooding, which is the spring run-off from heavy rain and melting snow.

Is there a flood information line?

In the case of a flood, the City will activate a 24 hour information line. Other flood-related inquiries can be directed to Engineering & Public Works Customer Service at 604-927-3500.

Engineering & Public Works Customer Service

Engineering Emergency Services for Water, Sewer and Roads

24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

Phone: 604-927-3500

If this matter is urgent, please call our Engineering and Public Works Customer Service line at 604-927-3500 (24 Hours / 7 Days a Week).

Engineering Customer Service Email: epw@coquitlam.ca

Please Note - The Engineering and Public Works email address is only monitored during regular business hours (Monday to Friday:  8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).​