Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

As B.C. officials warn that weather might delay flood recovery, supply chains are resuming

Key takeaways:

  • After supply networks were disrupted by major flooding in B.C., goods and services moved again.
  • Canadian Pacific Line has confirmed that its railway between Kamloops and Vancouver will resume at noon on Tuesday. 

According to government officials, goods and services are moving again in B.C. after supply networks were broken due to heavy flooding, while upcoming harsh weather might hinder progress.

The updates were given at a press conference on Monday, one week after torrential rains flooded rivers in southern British Columbia, causing mudslides, washed-out highways, and widespread evacuations in the Fraser Valley, Merritt, and Princeton.

Following criticism that the province did not do enough to warn residents about the severe weather, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the province would work with partner organizations to keep people informed in the coming days. The Fraser Valley is supposed to see a lot of rain from Wednesday to Friday.

Also read: UMFA seeks 28 million in damages from province in 2016 labor negotiations

For residents of Merritt, where mail service has been completely suspended since last week, Canada Post stated Monday that it would provide free mail forwarding for up to a year. People in sections of Abbotsford, Quilchena, and Chilliwack’s Yarrow area can also get free forwarding.

According to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, the rain that is expected to hit the province’s southern coast this week will persist longer than the storm that caused havoc last week. By the weekend, the affected area might have received up to 100 millimeters of rain.

Environment Canada released a snowfall alert for the Fraser Valley on Monday, as well as a series of alerts and special weather statements for the province’s northern half, primarily due to exceptionally high winds and snowfall.

Highway sections are reopening.

The advisories were issued on the same day that parts of Highway 1 in Abbotsford reopened.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, the route is currently accessible between Highway 1 East and Cole Road to provide emergency access to agricultural operations in the area.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming stated Monday morning that extending pathways to the Lower Mainland is a top priority, noting that progress has already been achieved with the opening of Highway 1 east of Chilliwack and Highway 99 north of Pemberton.

Supply chains getting back on track as B.C. officials warn weather could  derail flood recovery

Fleming stated, “Essential products and services are moving again.”

But, as the minister pointed out, there is still a lot of work to be done, with no timetable insight for the long-term rehabilitation of Highway 5, which may take months, according to Fleming.

Canadian Pacific Line has confirmed that its railway between Kamloops and Vancouver will resume at noon on Tuesday. Following last week’s storm, C.P. claimed it needed “hundreds” of staff and contractors to repair damage to more than 30 of its locations.

Emergency declared in the province.

Following catastrophic weather damage in the province’s southern area caused by last week’s storms, the B.C. government announced a state of emergency on Nov. 17. The Canadian Armed Forces have been dispatched to assist with flood recovery.

Hundreds of volunteers have labored nonstop to save people, dogs, and animals.

Members of the general public in impacted areas will be limited to 30 gallons of gas every visit until Dec. 1, according to Farnworth, to guarantee that necessary vehicles have enough fuel for recovery efforts.

Residents who have been displaced or left unemployed as a result of the flooding, according to Federal Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough, should apply for employment insurance as soon as possible, even if they would not ordinarily qualify.

Farnworth said on Monday that the province had requested the federal government to remove the one-week waiting time that is normally in place before people may apply for unemployment benefits.

Source: CBC News

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