Abbotsford flood recovery ‘moving in a positive direction’ with stable water levels: Mayor


The mayor is unsure how much more water its existing systems, including Barrowtown Pump Station can take.

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As back-to-back rain storms are forecast to drench the Fraser Valley into this weekend, water levels have remained consistent in Sumas Prairie.

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“We’re still moving in a positive direction,” Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said at a news conference Thursday. “Although today’s rain has definitely had an impact on the Barrowtown Pump Station’s ability to reduce the flood levels in the eastern portion of Sumas Prairie.”

Water levels are not increasing as a result of the first storm Thursday, which prompted Environment Canada to issue a rainfall warning for the Fraser Valley.

Repairs to a critical dike in Abbotsford by Canadian Armed Forces are nearing completion.

“Our dikes are now at a level they were at before,” Braun said.

As many as 1,300 people have registered for emergency support services at Abbotsford’s emergency reception centre at Tradex, run by the city in collaboration with Emergency Support Services BC and Samaritan’s Purse.

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As evacuees wait in the shelter and at friends’ and relatives’ homes, more than 1,500 rapid damage assessments have been undertaken by Canada Task Force 1.

“It’s an important step in determining when evacuation orders can be lifted,” Braun said.  “It is vital that we conduct these rapid assessments so we can ensure that people can return to their homes, barns and businesses as safely as possible.”

More than 1,500 additional safety assessments are expected to be completed in the coming days and weeks.

Braun said the city is keeping a close eye on river level predictions for the Nooksack and Sumas rivers with downpours expected from three atmospheric river storms.

“What I’m worried about is what will the Nooksack do?”

The city is still unsure how much more water its existing systems, including Barrowtown Pump Station which works to divert water from Yarrow and Sumas Prairie streams and ditches, can take.

“It really depends on the Nooksack. We have a very careful eye on the Nooksack,” Braun said.

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