Your weather when it really mattersTM

Country

Please choose your default site

Americas

Asia - Pacific

Europe

Prime minister sees flood zones as B.C. officials warn more storms are coming

Friday, November 26th 2021, 9:00 pm - PM to meet first responders, volunteers, locals affected by floods; up to 120 mm more rain expected Saturday

THE LATEST:

  • The prime minister will visit B.C. on Friday to meet with provincial officials and talk to those affected by widespread floods and landslides.
  • British Columbia is bracing for yet another storm to hit flooded areas on Saturday, as Environment Canada issued a special weather statement warning of up to 100 millimetres of rain.
  • The River Forecast Centre has issued a flood watch for the South Coast and Lower Fraser Valley regions in southwest B.C.
  • Three major highways will be partially shut down on Saturday as a precaution, the province said.
  • Several properties along the Similkameen River have been put on an evacuation alert as of 11 a.m on Thursday.
  • B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming says another arterial highway, the Coquihalla (Highway 5), could be open for commercial traffic at the end of January, with the weather being a key factor in that timeline.
  • For a list of up-to-date flood warnings, visit the River Forecast Centre.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in British Columbia for his first visit since record-breaking rainfall caused widespread flooding and mudslides in the province — and just as more storms are forecast to hit this weekend.

The prime minister is touring the city of Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver, which has been particularly hit hard by the floods.

While Trudeau surveys the damage, provincial officials are stressing the need for British Columbians to prepare for more possible flooding with two storms expected to hit the South Coast in the coming days.

bc-flooding A boat floats past a flooded house in Abbotsford, B.C. The prime minister is set to visit the devastated city on Friday in his first visit since widespread floods and landslides struck B.C. nearly two weeks ago. (Oliver Walters/CBC)

The first of three storms in the forecast arrived on Thursday, with another expected early Saturday and the most intense and final storm to hit land on Tuesday.

emergency-flood-update-nov-25-2021 B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth at a media conference on Thursday. Also pictured, from left to right, is B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming, Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne, and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Saturday's storm will see up to 50 millimetres of rain in areas away from the coast, and up to 100 millimetres of rain near the mountains, according to a special weather statement issued by Environment Canada.

Farnworth said crews have inspected 250 culverts across the province in advance of the coming storms, and emergency workers have also arrived from Alberta to help.

RED CROSS: British Columbia Floods and Extreme Weather Appeal

The province said it will be closing "vulnerable" sections of three major highways on Saturday as a precaution:

  • Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton.
  • Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet.
  • Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon.

The exact time of the closures and how long they last "will depend on the weather" according to a statement.

"The highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and more heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk," the statement said.

B.C. Transportation Minister Rob Fleming on Friday asked people to stay off the roads if they can, to give essential vehicles priority, and to make sure they have emergency supplies in their vehicles if they must travel.

Highways connecting the Lower Mainland to the rest of B.C. are still severely impacted by flooding, landslides and in some cases, complete washouts.

bc-flooding (1) Numerous fields have been flooded in the low-lying Sumas Prairie region east of Abbotsford, with farmers saying they have lost acres of crops. (Oliver Walters/CBC)

DAMAGE TO FIRST NATION

The floods and slides have also affected First Nations, including the Shackan First Nation. Their community is situated along Highway 8, parts of which were severely damaged.

Chief Arnold (Arnie) Lampreau said telephone lines were ripped from poles and heavy steel bridges "tossed like toothpicks," in the flooding, while some homes had been swallowed by water and "erased" by the river.

Lampreau said he's worried elders in his community might never be able to return to their ancestral homes.

He also said that nearly two weeks after floods ravaged the region, no one from the provincial government has connected with him.

"I've told Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC) to pound sand because they didn't look after our people — we fell through the cracks," he said.

This article was originally published for CBC News, with files from Yvette Brend

Default saved
Close

Search Location

Close

Sign In

Please sign in to use this feature.