Fraser River water levels coming back to normal.
The Fraser River begins in the centre of British Columbia, traveling south about 600 miles to Vancouver. A large percentage of the mills producing Western Red Cedar shingles and shakes are located along the Fraser River, from Mission, BC downstream and west approximately 25 miles to its junction with the Pitt River, before it runs another 20 miles to the Pacific Ocean. Fast moving currents and high water levels disrupt the upstream movement of commercial goods on the river. Towing costs can be as much a 5 times normal, and in extreme cases towing is not possible.
Every spring, winter's collection of snow and ice along the Fraser River watershed must make its way to the ocean. This results in higher water levels throughout the province. The usual water level measured at the Mission Bridge is approximately 1.0 meter, changing slightly with tides. The higher water levels start in late April or early May and can continue to September, depending on the weather and snow levels. The Fraser River freshet, (spring run-off) was significant this year, peaking in late June at over 6 meters! After a steady decline since July 1st, the water level today is 2.2 meters. Things are now starting to get back to normal on the river.
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