Bracing against the Fraser

Residents in at-risk areas along the Fraser River are preparing to flee should evacuation alerts become orders.

Alerts are in place for parts of Barnston Island, Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, with the mighty Fraser flowing high and fast due to sudden warm weather and snowmelt.

Water-filled Tiger Dams are being deployed in Fort Langley to protect a heritage home. Sandbags were sent onto Barnston Island and residents were told to consider leaving early as both large animals and vehicles will be barred from the ferry that serves the community of 155.

More than 100 concerned residents of Surrey’s low-lying Bridgeview neighbourhood attended a meeting Wednesday to hear about how the city is preparing and fortifying the dike. Officials say they are preparing for the worst, but expecting much better.

The owner of a sawmill in Port Kells was less optimistic.

"It will be a hell of a mess for a lot of people," he told CTV Vancouver Thursday morning. "Nature's going to do what it wants."

The Fraser is expected to keep rising through the week. The Mission gauge is at 5.8 metres and is expected to peak at 6.6 metres this weekend.

—with files from CTV Vancouver 

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