BC floods: State of emergency declared, work in progress

British Columbia Premier John Horgan has announced a state of emergency for the province has been declared as flooding has displaced people from their homes and disrupted transport routes.

“This order will maintain basic access to services and supplies for communities across the province,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Horgan also advised people not to hoard food because some grocery store shelves appeared to be empty.

“Do the right thing,” he said. “Listen to what your mother told you when you were little. Do to others as you will do to yourself. Respect the fact that you don’t need 48 eggs, a dozen will, and let the part be. the rest to others.”


Flooding across the province has claimed at least one life so far, and the province predicts more deaths as recovery work gets underway.

“Sadly, we expect to confirm more deaths in the coming days,” Horgan said.

On Tuesday, the BC RCMP released a statement saying a woman’s body had been recovered from the scene of a landslide along Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lilooet.

Police did not reveal the identity of the woman, but said she was from the Xia Mainland.


According to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham, thousands of farm animals have died as a result of the floods and thousands more will be “in need of food” in the next few days.

“These are very difficult times for agriculture in BC and our producers,” she said at Wednesday’s news conference.

“Over the past two days, I’ve been able to FaceTime with farmers and some of them are in their barns, and some of their barns are flooded, and you can see dead animals. “, She added. “It’s really sad.”

Popham also promised disaster relief funds to farmers affected by the floods and said that BC is working with the federal government, other provinces and private businesses to secure resources, including food and medical care, for any surviving animals.


A runaway barge that ran aground at Sunset Beach in Vancouver after escaping from mooring during a storm will not be moved until Sunday at the earliest.

The barge’s owner told CTV News that the ship was fastened and secure when the historic storm made landfall. They also said the challenge of moving it again was that the tide was already up to about 14.8 feet when the barge was grounded and it is expected that it will be near that height again through the weekend.

Attempts to pull the barge off the beach on Tuesday failed.

The ship washed up on the beach about a kilometer from Burrard Street Bridge, prompting city officials to temporarily close the busy bridge.


According to the province’s Minister of Health Adrian Dix, dozens of healthcare patients and residents of long-term care homes have been moved from the flooded areas.

About 200 people have been moved from facilities in Merritt and Princeton, both of which are subject to evacuation orders.

“My deepest thanks go to the emergency team, healthcare staff, health agency staff, BC Emergency Medical Services and department staff for all they’ve done over the past few days. day to keep everyone safe,” Dix said during Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing.

“This includes significant efforts to safely move patients and residents in long-term care and assisted living out of flood areas.”


Late Tuesday night, officials in the city of Abbotsford issued an urgent appeal for anyone in the Sumas Prairie to evacuate immediately, as floodwaters threaten the Barrowtown Pumping Station.

Officials said conditions in the Sumas Prairie area had “escalated” and posed a “significant risk to life due to impending failure” of the pumping station.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said 184 people had been evacuated from the area overnight, adding that those efforts were ongoing.

According to Braun, while the situation “remains critical”, crews and volunteers were able to build dams overnight to protect the pumping station.

He said: “The Fraser River in the last 24 hours has decreased by two meters. “It needs to drop another meter before we can open the floodgates in Barrowtown, which will allow up to seven times more volume than four pumps operating at full tilt.”

If that happens the next day, he said, they will be able to ease the pressure on the Barrowtown Pumping Station.


In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Canada’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, confirmed that a team of 300 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel would be deployed to help in BC.

Blair said CAF members will support evacuation efforts, support supply chain routes and help protect residents in BC

Blair said he spoke with the province’s Minister of Public Safety, Mike Farnworth, to “let him know that we stand with the people of British Columbia during this extremely difficult time and are working to make it easier for the people of British Columbia to come forward.” provide the support they need as quickly as possible.”


In an update posted Wednesday morning, officials in the city of Merritt said the evacuation order issued Monday remained in place.

“City staff are focused on restoring critical services, including drinking water, wastewater treatment and bridge access,” the statement read.

Greg Lowis, an emergency operations center information officer, said engineers will be in town on Wednesday to test those systems to determine the work that needs to be done to “get them online.” return line”.

“We know of a number of people who have chosen to stay in Merritt, which is exacerbated by the lack of services,” he said in the statement. “Unfortunately, when those people chose to stay in a city under the Evacuation Order, they chose to be here with no drinking water, no sewage, and in some parts of the City no fire engines or vehicles.” ambulance.”

Lowis said the city is “unlikely” to provide services to those who have chosen to remain in the community at this time.


Sylvia Pranger, Mayor of Kent County, told CTV’s Your Morning that about 300 motorists stranded along the highway in Agassiz town due to mudslides have been rescued.

Of those people, Pranger said, only a few have yet to find a hotel or facility to stay in at the moment.

According to Pranger, officials do not know how many people are not accountable. She said officials are currently conducting a recovery effort in the area.

Pranger said the community is “doing great,” all things considered.


In a statement issued early Wednesday morning, BC Transport issued a travel notice saying a single lane of Highway 7 west of Agassiz was reopening only to emergency vehicles.

The agency asked the public to avoid the area while highway restoration work continues.

Several other roads remain closed across the province, including parts of national highways 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11 and 99.


Jim Mandeville is a senior project manager for the Great Loss Foundation North America. He is helping coordinate recovery groups on the ground in BC

He told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday that teams are pre-positioning resources to help facilitate cleanup as the water “hopes to recede shortly.”

First of all, the teams will work to restore critical business operations, Mandeville said.

“I mean, communities need to be able to buy food, they need to be able to buy gas, they need to be able to get money from the bank and they need to have access to health and life services. important,” he explained. “Without those, people can’t return to their homes no matter what state they’re in.”

Mandeville urged people to follow the advice and guidance of the authorities.

“My advice is to always listen to the authorities, when they say go – go,” he said. “You’re not only endangering yourself, you’re endangering the lives of the first responders who will come and get you out there.”

With files from CTV News’s Kendra Mangione, Andrew Weichel and Alyse Kotyk, and The Canadian Press


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