Flooding in Abbotsford: Weather a factor in planning efforts, mayor says

Vancouver –

In an update on the ninth day of flood work in Abbotsford, BC, the city’s mayor said crews are actively preparing for the next storm.

Henry Braun said city staff are working with consultants to create an “extended model” of the water level in front of a river in the atmosphere.

The weather phenomenon expected to make landfall in the area this weekend is the same type of storm system that has left parts of Abbotsford underwater for days, although the approach system is not expected to be. so serious.

“This means we are using projections to predict water levels and how they will intersect with the condition of our levees,” says Braun.

These dikes were built hastily, with the help of the military, after floods destroyed homes and farms in Sumas Prairie and resulted in the deaths of thousands of animals.

The mayor said all the work and repairs had been done to ensure the best possible outcome, should the river overflow its banks last week to be done again.

“At this point, all of our dikes have been inspected and assessed for damage to the best of our ability, as some sections are not visible. There are four main areas in need of repair. and these areas account for less than 1% of the entire mining system,” he said.

Braun said repairs were 80% complete by Tuesday and “another 5 feet of elevation” would be added before heavy rain on Thursday.

After the main hole is repaired, the crew will be moved to another area that has been partially eroded.

Another concern during last week’s flooding was that the Barrowtown Pumping Station could be overwhelmed. The city says the station is a “critical piece of infrastructure” in preventing flooding in Sumas Prairie.

The area is located on the site of what used to be Lake Sumas. The lake has been drained to serve farms and houses.

This time around, sandbags are being brought in early to “reinforce” the pumping station, the mayor said.

Drains are being cleared across the city, including in Sumas Prairie, to help drain excess water from the area.

Braun spoke a day after part of the evacuation order was downgraded to alert due to receding water levels. The city warned those north of Highway 1 who are allowed to go home still need to be ready to leave again, should the situation change.

Returning residents found color-coded tags on their front doors: green for cautious entry, yellow for limited access, and red for authorized access only. These signs have been posted on the doors of homes and businesses after a quick structural assessment, and any property deemed unsafe remains open to owners or tenants, regardless of location. state of their evacuation order.

The City of Abbotsford has opened a call center to help residents with questions about their next steps.

General inquiries can be made at 604-864-5688, while those interested in a building assessment should call 604-504-4049.

Cleaning kits were provided at the city’s Tradex Convention Center.

This is a breaking news update. More information will come.

With files from Regan Hasegawa’s CTV News Vancouver in Abbotsford

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