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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.
Please have a look at the Fraser, Coquitlam and Pitt River Flood Extents Map (PDF) for areas which may be impacted by possible flooding.
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.
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.
Cities located along the Fraser and Pitt Rivers are at risk of potential flooding. These cities include:
The City of Coquitlam actively prepares for possible flooding every year. Preparations include:
Possible impacts of flooding include:
Traffic will be routed to higher elevation arterial roads.
Please have a look at the City of Coquitlam Floodplain Map (PDF), 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 and Public Works at 604-927-3500.
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 British Columbia Emergency Management website.
The British Columbia Emergency Management 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.
Property owners can sandbag or dike their properties. For more information on how you can prepare your building, visit the British Columbia Emergency Management website.
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.
The Provincial government has a Disaster Financial Assistance program that is administered through the Provincial Emergency Program. Please visit the British Columbia Emergency Management website for more information on whether or not you may be eligible.
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:
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.
In the case of a flood, the City will activate a 24-hour information line. Other flood-related inquiries can be directed to Engineering and Public Works Customer Service at 604-927-3500.