Floods

Flood events can range in scale from minor to major. Minor events often present little threat to the public with minimal or no property damage. Major events can cause extensive damage or destruction to critical infrastructure, while presenting a high degree of danger to the public.

Floods can be either slow or fast rising, generally developing over days or weeks. The geography of Squamish combines four of the five most commonly flooded land types, i.e. River floodplains, basins and valleys affected by flash flooding, land below water-retention structures (dams), and low-lying coastal and inland shorelines

The District of Squamish Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan is a comprehensive flood management strategy with over 100 specific tools designed to manage flood risk in Squamish. 

Local Risk

As of 2011, the areas of potential inundation in Squamish encompassed 3,235 residential buildings being nearly 60% of the total building stock. Older homes built prior to flood construction levels and homes located in low-lying areas will experience the greatest impact and damage should a major flood event occur.

 

What to do during a major flood:

  • Tune in to the local radio station (107.1 Mountain FM) for emergency information and instructions
  • If you have a disability or need support, make contact with your support network
  • Put your household emergency plan into action and check your emergency kit or grab-and-go bag. Be prepared to evacuate quickly if it becomes necessary. Don't have an emergency plan? Download our template here.
  • Where possible, move pets inside or to a safe place
  • Consider using sandbags to keep water away from your home
  • Lift valuable household items and chemicals as high above the floor as possible
  • Fill bathtubs, sinks and storage containers with clean water in the event the local water supply becomes contaminated
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities as it can help prevent damage to your home or community. Unplug small appliances to avoid damage from power surges. However do not attempt to shut off electricity, if any water is already present. Water and live electrical wires can be lethal. Leave your home immediately and do not return until authorities indicate it is safe to do so
  • Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters unless it is absolutely essential

 

What the District is doing:

The District’s Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan (IFHMP) is a comprehensive flood management strategy with over 100 specific tools designed to manage flood risk in Squamish and guide community development over the next development cycle. The plan weaves together elements of land use planning, structural protection, river management, public education and emergency planning and will be utilized for capital and community planning for the next five to ten years. 

Resources:

Flooding and Sea level rise: What you should know about Squamish's management plan.