- As the weekend approaches, communities in southern B.C., which are still recovering from major floods and fatal mudslides, are in for another round of storms.
- The province and municipal government have reminded people in flood zones to evacuate and bring an emergency kit.
Communities in southern B.C. still hurting from severe floods and fatal mudslides are in for another round of storms as the weekend approaches, with critical routes still down and thousands of people still displaced.
On Thursday night, Environment Canada issued a series of rainfall warnings for areas across southwest British Columbia. Rainfall could reach 80 mm near the highlands and 50 millimeters near the ocean.
Up to 50 millimeters of rain are anticipated to fall by Friday morning in sections of the Fraser Valley, where flood recovery works are still underway.
With the Sea-to-Sky Highway area, North Shore Mountains, Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, and Lower Mainland, the South Coast is under a flood watch issued by B.C.’s River Forecast Centre.
The flood warning for that area remains in effect, and Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun says the city is keeping an eye on the Nooksack and Sumas rivers.
The latest weather system will not be as catastrophic as the “once in a century” storm that hit the province’s southwest on Nov. 13-15 but will bring strong southeast winds near the water.
The Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for many properties along the Similkameen River, citing concerns that flood levels may rise and endanger property and people.
‘We’re still in an unexplored area,
The freezing level is predicted to increase above mountain peaks as well. According to Environment Canada, because the ground is already saturated from the earlier deluge, even a moderate storm could cause rivers and streams to rise quickly and potentially flood.
“When it comes to these storms, we’re still in a new area,” said B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth during a press conference on Wednesday, noting that there had been about a dozen atmospheric rivers in the province since mid-September.
“Having multiple devastating storms in succession is far from typical.”
Following Thursday’s storm, another is expected to hit the coast on Saturday.
The province and municipal government have reminded people in flood zones to evacuate and bring an emergency kit.
Reopening of a major roadway
The floods have been particularly devastating in B.C.’s Fraser Valley region, which includes the city of Abbotsford southeast of Vancouver.
The Sumas Prairie area of the city is one location that has been damaged by flooding. The ‘do not use’ water advice extends from Angus Campbell Road in the west to Highway One in the north, the Chilliwack border in the east, and the United States border, and Old Yale Road in the south. The rest of Abbotsford is unaffected.
Braun stated that while recent dike repairs have helped stop the flow of water into the low-lying area, the city still has to pump water out and that evacuees are still unable to return because of standing water.
Farmers made up a huge portion of the evacuees, according to the B.C. Dairy Association, the floods killed up to 500 cows and “thousands” of poultry and 20,000 hogs.
However, it is believed that the region would be linked to the rest of the province. Highway 1 across the Fraser Valley, which connects Abbotsford to Metro Vancouver and the Interior, is slated to reopen approximately 9 p.m. P.T. on Thursday.
Rob Fleming, B.C.’s minister of transportation and infrastructure, stated, “We know people in this region need to go around.” “This is going to be a huge help.”
Due to substantial washouts at various parts, other damaged roadways in the province, such as Highway 5 and Highway 8, are projected to take much longer to rebuild.
Highway traffic restrictions remain in effect on many major portions, and the province has committed to close highways ahead of time if there is a risk to motorists during the present storm.
Source: CBC News
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