NORTH LANGLEY (NEWS1130) – Local farmers near the Fraser River are hoping some hot weather will dry out their flood-soaked fields now that the river is dropping.

An evacuation alert for people in unprotected areas of Glen Valley, Northwest Langley, Brae Island, and McMillan Island in Langley Township has now been lifted, as well as for Barnston Island near Surrey.

Paul Falcon’s farm, Falcon Glen Farms on the edge of the Fraser near 264th and 88th in North Langley, was inundated by the swollen Fraser River several weeks ago.

He says nearly half of his 65 acres were hit by flood waters.
“There is still a lot of water that’s accumulated in the fields, and that’s going to take quite a few weeks before that even disappears,” he says.  “Unless we get some good heat to dry out the fields, it could be about a month before they’re actually workable.”

“What you’re dealing with is also the time factor, so you could potentially be losing a whole growing season,” he adds, saying the loss of the crops could easily cost him tens of thousands of dollars.

Falcon held off planting blueberries, hops and some organic vegetables.  

“In a way, not having them in the ground has at least afforded me a bit more time and I still have an opportunity in the fall to put them in the ground, if everything dries up in time,” he adds.

As for flood protection or compensation, Falcon wants a broader plan.  

“I’d rather see a proactive approach where it does involve some kind of diking and pumping system,” he says.  “It’s happening in other parts- just down the road from my farm is a diked area and those fields did remarkably well considering the water compared to west of that.”