BC floods: Recovery efforts amid provincial emergency

BARRIE – Devastating floods, landslides and strong winds in British Columbia prompted officials to declare a provincial state of emergency.

Work is continuing around the clock to clean up and recover from the storm, but thousands of people are still displaced from their homes.

Here are the latest developments from BC


A provincial state of emergency was declared in BC on Wednesday.

“This order will maintain basic access to services and supplies to communities across the province,” BC Premier John Horgan said at a news conference.

Horgan said his government will introduce travel restrictions to ensure essential goods as well as medical and emergency services can reach the community, but he urged people not to hoard goods. groceries as recovery efforts continue.

“Do the right thing,” he said. “Listen to what your mother told you when you were little: ‘Do to others as you would ask them to do to you.'”

Horgan said the federal government has agreed to support supply chain management and restore safe drinking water in the province.

On Wednesday, Canada’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness tweeted that Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members would be deployed to help in BC.

He said air support personnel would assist with evacuation efforts, support supply chain routes and protect people against floods and landslides.


In the city of Abbotsford, an emergency evacuation order remains in place for those in Sumas Prairie as the Barrowtown Pumping Station is operating at full capacity.

Officials warned that if the pumping station failed, the consequences could be “catastrophic.”

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, the city’s Mayor Henry Braun said water from flooding in Washington State is flowing into the city, adding to the stress on the pumping station.

According to Braun, a temporary dam built around the station is helping to buy time.

Braun said the water level had dropped by two meters on Wednesday, but needed to drop another meter to relieve enough pressure on the pumps.

Elsewhere in the city, evacuation orders were cancelled.

Late Wednesday night, the city lifted evacuation warnings for the Eagle Mountain, Ten Oaks, Straits area and Matsqui village areas.

City officials are expected to provide the latest update during a press conference at 7:30 a.m. local time on Thursday.


Meanwhile, the evacuation order issued for the city of Merritt on Monday remains in place.

In a statement released Wednesday, the city’s Mayor Linda Brown said she had “speaked privately” with Prime Minister Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Both expressed their thoughts on mourning, respected the resilience of the people of Merrittonians, and pledged that the Provincial and Federal authorities would stand with the residents of Merritt,” the statement reads. .

Brown said the city has their support to address the “immediate and long-term needs” of the community.

According to Brown, the city’s emergency operations team is currently working to bring home residents whose homes have not been impacted by the flooding, and will then work to allow “residents whose homes have been flooded.” return safely”.

“As soon as we can provide safe water and flush toilets, we’ll take you home,” says Brown.

Area crews are also working to assess roads, bridges and home damage across the city.

They are also working to clean up the debris.

Brown also said there is a “large team of RCMPs in the community” who primarily work in rescue operations and are geared toward securing and protecting assets.

Also Wednesday, the Houston Street bridge was reopened to traffic after being inspected by an engineer. Although officials say the Main Street bridge is still closed to traffic.


Officials on Tuesday confirmed a woman was killed in a devastating mudslide on Highway 99, south of Lillooet.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Horgan said more deaths were expected.

So far, at least three people have been reported missing in the area.


In a tweet late Wednesday, the BC government said many roads continue to be closed or restricted to single-lane traffic.

“Please do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary,” the post read.

Officials said crews were working to reopen roads from lower inland to inland and north to “keep people and supply chains moving.”

The list of closed roads can be found here.

With a file from the Canadian Press


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