Flood Prevention

Learn how Burnaby protects its floodplains, how you can keep your property from flooding and how to report a flood

Flooding may result from rainfall, snowmelt, storms or other events. We use various strategies to reduce flooding in homes, businesses, properties and public areas.

An integral part of our flood response is ensuring that all businesses and residents in lowland areas are provided with safety information to better respond to any emergency that could arise. We issue flooding updates on the City's website, social media channels, an information phone line and, when required, via a public information meeting.

Burnaby's southern boundary borders nearly 7 km of the North Arm of the Fraser River. The nearly 800 hectares of the low-lying area between Burnaby's steep south slope and the Fraser River is a floodplain.

The Fraser River poses a substantial flood hazard. The river can flood parts of the Lower Mainland due to snowmelt in late spring and early summer or during combined heavy rain and winter storm surge events.

We protect the lowland areas with river and shoreline dykes, pump stations and flood boxes.

Flood prevention strategies

Our flood management strategies include a Flood Response Plan, deploying temporary dikes, sandbags and other protective measures.

We prevent flooding by clearing street catch basins, inspecting culverts, removing debris and sediment from creeks and ditches and monitoring creeks, rivers, and potential problem areas.

The City receives regular updates from the BC River Forecast Centre through the Provincial Emergency Program during flooding events and freshet floods—caused by snowpacks melting.

Keep your property flood safe

Take the following precautions to stay safe and minimize the impact of flooding on your property:

  • Most homes have perimeter pipes installed around or below the house's foundation. These pipes collect water from your house and property and send it to the City storm sewer. Clean them often as they may become blocked by leaves, pine needles, silt, dirt or roots.
  • Inspect, flush or clean your drains periodically. If they are old, consider replacing them.

  • Check the City curb gutters and catch basins next to your property to see if they are clear of leaves, garbage and other debris. Clear any debris frequently to prevent flooding.
  • After a snowfall, keep the catch basins clear of snow to help prevent flooding when it melts or rains right after.

  • If you have an open ditch and culvert along your property, you must ensure the ditch and culvert clear.

  • In older homes, downpipes—the pipes that carry rainwater from a roof gutter to the ground or a drain—may overload the perimeter pipes around the property's foundation and cause flooding. To prevent this, direct your home's downpipes onto splash pads. This allows rainfall from your roof to soak into your lawn and garden.
  • Please take steps to ensure the water does not flood onto your neighbour's property.

  • If you drive, you must take extra precautions. Puddles on streets may be deeper than they appear and may cause loss of vehicle control.

  • If you have a creek running through your property, ensure it is clear of any obstructions, including overgrown vegetation and other debris.
  • Following heavy rain or snowfall, avoid streams and rivers as the water flow may be faster and stronger than usual.

Report flooding

Call 604-294-7221 from Monday-Friday between 7 am-3:30 pm.

If calling after hours or on weekends, call the 24-hour service line at 604-294-7200.

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