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Flood History

Story Map on Fraser River Flood History in the Lower Mainland

For the people living along its lower reaches, the river known by First Nations in the region as stó:lō or stal̕əw̓  has always been a lifeline and source of abundance for communities. The river (which settler communities later called the Fraser River after Simon Fraser) has also always been a formidable force,  and one that demands respect.

The Lower Mainland has experienced two major Fraser River floods in the past 130 years. The largest Fraser River flood on written record was in 1894, and the second largest was in 1948. Earlier large-scale floods on the river are also part of the oral history of Coast Salish First Nations.

What was it like to face the fury of the river as flood waters covered the land? Take a step back in time through this pictorial story map. The map was created in 2020, before the Nooksack River in Washington State flooded Sumas Prairie, Abbotsford in November 2021. That flood event brought into sharp focus some very serious impacts of flooding in a modern context.

Visit our Story Map

Start anywhere on the Fraser River Flood Story Map!


Early floods

1894 FraserFlood

1948 Fraser Flood

Picture Gallery

Ready to explore a little more? Browse a photo gallery for glimpses into the past.