Whistler monitors waterways, flooding not a concern 

By Alison Taylor

Unlike other areas in the province, Whistler is not on high alert for possible flooding this week.

While water levels in local rivers have gone up after the recent spring melt, it’s not cause for concern said Brian Barnett, general manager of environment at the municipality.

“It’s gone up a little bit,” he said Monday. “There are a couple of areas that we’re looking at now but we’re not concerned.

“We’re not anticipating any flooding issues.”

Earlier this week the municipality ordered gravel removed at the railway bridge that crosses Fitzsimmons Creek near Nicklaus North Golf Course to increase the capacity of the river flow under the bridge.

It continues to monitor other areas where the river is lapping over the banks.

Typically flooding is a concern in Whistler in the fall after significant periods of heavy rainfall. Unlike the Fraser Valley, areas of which are on evacuation alert, Whistler’s snowmelt doesn’t cover a significant enough area to warrant worry about flooding.

“The Fraser River is dealing with a snowmelt that goes from here to Alberta so they’ve got a huge surface area and when that snow starts to melt it accumulates and builds up to high levels, so there’s a different scenario,” said Barnett.

Mount Currie has experienced some flooding along the Birkenhead River in the corridor to D’Arcy.

Sections of Highway 99 were reduced to single lane alternating traffic due to minor flooding and one residence was evacuated due to significant bank erosion at the property.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is advising people to stay away from river edges during high flow periods as the high flows can undercut banks and make them prone to collapse.

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