BC flooding: Evacuation orders issued in Abbotsford area
VICTORIA – An evacuation order has been issued for the Huntingdon Village area of Abbotsford, as rain continues to fall south BC.
Residents have been told they must leave the area immediately as emergency teams work to assist in the evacuation effort.
Flood meters are also provided overnight for the Tulameen, Similkameen, Coldwater and Nicola rivers.
The second in a series of atmospheric rivers moved on Saturday bringing steady rainfall that Environment Canada was not expecting until this afternoon. However, a third atmospheric river, possibly one of even greater magnitude, is forecast to arrive on Tuesday.
The Squamish-Lillooet Area has issued an evacuation warning for 18 properties in the Pemberton Meadows area, while the Thompson-Nicola Area has issued an evacuation warning for another 49 properties outside of Merritt and Spences Bridge. Residents there have been advised to pack essentials and be ready to leave immediately if conditions deteriorate.
Dozens of communities are still watching for flooding and weather warnings are now posted across southern BC
As a preemptive measure, Highway 1 through Fraser Canyon, Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton and Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet were closed yesterday due to storm warnings. The Department of Transportation noted that highways had previously been affected by severe weather, and it said reopening would depend on weather conditions.
BC Drive also reported overnight that flooding forced the closure of a 4.8 km stretch of Highway 7 in Maple Ridge.
In Abbotsford’s main agricultural area, Mayor Henry Braun said yesterday that while he was confident the city could handle the rainfall this weekend, it could not handle another spill of the Nooksack River. into Sumas Prairie.
Nooksack runs south of the border, and Braun said American officials informed him that their levees were damaged in the recent flooding.
The mayor added that he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister John Horgan about the importance of supporting critical excavation and drainage infrastructure over the long term.
This Canadian Press report was first published on November 28, 2021.