Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Flood Threat Over!

The flood threat seems to have passed!

On Father's Day we took my parents for a drive down to the river to take a look first hand at the height of the river. The river had dropped substantially from when we last drove under the bridge a week and a half ago.

Perhaps life can get back to normal now--no more waiting on tender hooks to see what was going to happen.

These pictures were taken by my mother from under the bridge on Father's Day during our drive.

Customer Quilt

Yes, I have been quilting. These are pictures of the latest customer quilt that I finished.

New Bike

Sleek, simple and stylish.
Perfect for trips around town when one speed is all you need.
Nearly maintenance-free drive train.
Coaster brake for consistent, fully-sealed braking power.
Fully enclosed drive train for grease-free commuting.

This is my latest purchase--a new bike--just like I remember when I was growing up. A single speed, brakes on the pedals, simple type of bike. On nice evenings like tonight, it is nice to get out in the fresh air and ride. My parents and my son and daughter all have bikes so there is usually someone to ride with.

This is a picture that my mom snapped last week when my daughter and I finished riding with my dad.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Customer Quilt - Purple Star

This quilt belongs to a customer. Just to prove that I have been quilting--just not necessarily for myself, I thought I would show this quilt.

This quilt has been quilted with my Circle Lord Baptist Fan template. This template is an all time favorite of mine!

Colour Catcher String Quilt

The Colour Catcher String Quilt is quilted and bound! This one was quilted with King Tut varigated thread using my new Swirls template.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Flood Watch Continues

Things have been relatively quiet on the quilting front in this house for the past couple of weeks. We have been in various stages of flood preparedness since early April. Many of my books, magazines, and totes of fabric have been removed from the basement and are scattered throughout the upstairs area--raising them to safety above the flood plain. I have managed to quilt a customer quilt and finish quilting one quilt of my own, but much of my free time has been spent focusing on the possibility of flooding. Many parts of British Columbia remain on various stages of high stream advisory, flood watch, or flood warning.

On Monday, the Fraser River plateaued at 6.0 metres on the Mission gauge. Although this indicates a reduced level of flood hazard, the water level is predicted to remain at close to 6.0 meters for at least the next few weeks. During this time, any period of hot weather or heavy rainfall could increase the water level beyond 6.0 metres.

The first disastrous flood in the Fraser Valley occurred in 1894. With no protection against the rising waters of the Fraser River, the Fraser Valley was inundated with water.

After the 1894 flood, a diking system was constructed throughout the Fraser Valley. The diking and drainage projects greatly improved the flood problems, but unfortunately over time, the dikes were allowed to fall into disrepair and became overgrown with brush and trees. With some dikes constructed of a wooden frame, they gave way in 1948 in several locations, marking the second disastrous flood.

In June 1894, the Fraser River flooded the Fraser Valley. The high water mark at Mission reached 8.9 meters.

1948 saw massive flooding in areas along the Fraser River. The high water mark at Mission rose to 7.2 meters.

In 1948, throughout the May 24 long weekend, the waters of the Fraser were rising steadily, but only a few thought any real danger lay ahead. Cool temperatures during March, April and early May had delayed the melting of the heavy snow pack that had accumulated over the winter season. Several days of hot weather and warm rains over the holiday weekend in late May hastened the thawing of the snow pack. Rivers and streams quickly swelled with spring runoff, reaching heights surpassed only in 1894.

Locally, we measure the level of the Fraser River downstream at the Mission bridge and we measure the flow of the water as it passes under the bridge at Hope. These two measuremets coupled with the level of snow pack remaining in the interior mountains helps to predict the likelihood of flooding near where we live.

Year Level at Mission (m) Flow at Hope (cms)
1894 8.9 n/a
1948 8.2 15,300
1972 7.4 13,000
1999 6.3 11,000
2007 Forecast 7.0-7.5 12,500

We are very dependent on the weather and river conditions in the north central area of our province. 60% of the snow pack remains in the mountains in the interior of the province. As this snow melts and finds its way down northern rivers to the Fraser River, the level of the Fraser River rises. What happens to the Fraser River in Prince George finds its way quickly to the Lower Mainland within 2 to 3 days.

We continue to watch the level of the river as it passes by our community. We remain equally focused on every word of the weather forecaster on TV as we watch for signs of significant weather changes--either prolonged periods of heat or rain. Flood forecasting has become a topic of conversation everywhere and it seems everyone is trying their hand at predicting just how high the river will rise this year and whether or not it will topple its banks and challenge the diking system that protects our community.

The following link leads to a page with video clips of the Fraser River. Scroll down to "Agassiz Rosedale Bridge" for a video clip of the river as it passes below the bridge that crosses the Fraser River between Rosedale and Agassiz. My DH and I stood in this various spot days ago and watched the mighty Fraser River both amaze and terrify us with its force and speed.