The lower Fraser River water level is expected to hit 6.5 metres at the Mission area gauge as of tomorrow.
The City of Burnaby is taking precautions as the river levels rise, according to the city's director of engineering, Lambert Chu.
The heavy rainfall over the past couple of weeks has increased Fraser River levels, particularly in the upper part of the river, near Prince George.
"That volume of water is passing downstream into the Vancouver, or lower Fraser, area," Chu said Wednesday. "We anticipate that volume will arrive in the lower Fraser by Friday of this week."
There was a gradual increase in Fraser River water levels at the beginning of the week in some areas, and a slight decrease in the Lower Mainland, with clouds clearing, he added.
As of Wednesday, the Mission gauge stood at about 5.8 metres, he said.
The Mission gauge has one of longest historical records of Fraser River water levels, he explained, which is why the City of Burnaby uses it to determine the flood risk along the river.
The gauge was at 6.1 or 6.2 metres in 2007, Chu said, and at about nine metres in the 1894 Fraser River flood.
While there was flooding in Northern B.C. in 2007, the lower Fraser River region - including Burnaby and New Westminster - remained unscathed.
If it hits six metres, the city activates its emergency operation centre level one response, according to Chu. He expected the river to reach six metres as of today.
The level one process involves the Burnaby Fire Department, the RCMP, emergency social services, and the city's emergency planning, finance, planning and building, and engineering departments, he said.
The city has been patrolling the dykes along the Fraser River on a daily basis since the beginning of the week, to ensure there are no weaknesses or repairs needed along the river, Chu said.
The city will update its website with the latest information, so people who live and work in the Big Bend area along the Fraser River can find out the most recent developments, he added.
The city is also monitoring the trails in Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park, he said, and may close some segments of the trails if the river level hits 6.5 metres.
If the river reaches that level, the city will also move its 100,000 sand bags from one of its storage sites to a central location at the Riverway Sports Complex, which will be the distribution centre for sandbags to residents and businesses, should sandbagging be necessary, Chu said.
"We'll be stockpiling the bags at that level," he said.
If the level increases beyond 6.5 metres, the city will put in temporary aqua dams - inflatable dams - and sandbags in critical areas, he added.
The city will know more about whether or not water levels will continue to increase by the end of this week, when the forecast for the coming week is clearer.
"The projection is done on an almost daily basis now," Chu said.
Hot weather, which could rapidly melt snow packs along the Fraser River, or heavy rainfall could result in higher river levels.
Burnaby, like other municipalities along the river, is receiving frequent updates on the situation - including contributing factors such as snow pack levels - from the B.C. River Forecast Centre.
Snow pack reports and other information is available on the centre's website at bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca.
Updates on the Fraser River water levels will also be posted on the city's website, at www.burnaby.ca.