All of southwestern British Columbia is under flood watch as third consecutive storm passes through
- Up to 100 millimeters of rain is expected in the flood-devastated Fraser Valley with a snowfall notice also in place for parts of central British Columbia
- Early Wednesday morning, a landslide closed Highway 7 in both directions near the Maria Slough Bridge east of Agassiz. At 0745, the road was open to single-lane alternate traffic in both directions. Shortly after, an incident involving multiple vehicles on the same road, seven kilometers west of Kent, British Columbia, forced the road to close in both directions west of Agassiz. No detour is currently available. Alternating single-track traffic continues to move east of the landslide.
- Highway 99 between Lillooet and Pemberton was closed on Tuesday due to storms, with many freeways under travel recommendations in the province. For a full list of closures, see here.
- Evacuation orders remain in effect for properties located near waterways in the Fraser Valley, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and the Sea to Sky region. To learn more about evacuation alerts and orders, see here.
- A flood warning is in place for the Coldwater, Nicola, Tulameen, Similkameen, Spius, Coquihalla, Chilliwack and Sumas rivers, as well as for the lower Fraser tributaries and for the Sumas Prairie.
- A flood watch has been issued for the south, central and north coasts, as well as for all of Vancouver Island. For all flood notices, see here.
- Transport Canada has temporarily restricted the movement of non-essential boats on waterways in certain flood-prone areas.
The last of three major storms hits southwestern British Columbia with heavy rains as flood-ravaged communities brace for evacuations and potential damage.
Much of the province is under flood watch or warning. Flood monitoring means that river levels rise and can overtake their banks and inundate adjacent areas. A flood warning means that river levels have exceeded or will exceed their banks, and neighboring areas will be flooded accordingly.
Much of southwestern British Columbia is currently under flood warning, with flooded areas like the Fraser Valley and Nicola Valley east of Vancouver expected to receive up to 100 millimeters of water. rain, while snow is also expected at higher elevations.
Up to 150 millimeters of rain is planned for parts of Vancouver Island.
The impact of the rain is expected to be worse due to the extensive damage from previous storms. The largest, which hit the province from November 13 to 15, resulted in landslides and precipitation records being broken, while two more before and During the weekend led to new evacuation orders and highway closures.
British Columbia Security Minister Mike Farnworth at a press conference Wednesday morning stressed that people need to be prepared if they live in a flood-prone area and need to stay away roads in affected areas, except when absolutely necessary.
“I want to make it clear to everyone that this storm is not over yet,” he said.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for hundreds of properties in southwestern British Columbia The current storm system affecting the province first hit the central coast before moving south, resulting in more evacuation orders in areas north of the province. Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver region.
This includes the communities of Hope, Mission, and Hatzic in the eastern Fraser Valley. Some residents of Maple Ridge, just east of Vancouver, had the warnings addressed to them due to potential flooding.
Residents forced to flee flood waters in the middle of the month are also staying away from their homes in the interior of British Columbia, including in Princeton and Merritt.
Transport Canada has temporarily restricted non-essential vessel traffic on British Columbia’s waterways in certain flooded areas, including sections of the Fraser, Coldwater and Similkameen rivers.
Almost the entire province is also at a high or extreme avalanche risk due to warming temperatures, with the greatest dangers in places like the Sea to Sky region north of Vancouver, the northwest coast and the northern Rockies.
But there was cautious optimism from officials in the flood-hit areas that the worst was over.
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said on Tuesday that flood modeling showed water levels were stabilizing and he was “confident” the city had done all it could to prepare.
WATCH | Abbotsford mayor ‘cautiously optimistic’ about heavier rains:
Highway closures and suffocated supply chain
A landslide early Wednesday morning closed a section of Highway 7 in both directions near the Maria Slough Bridge east of Agassiz. At 0745, the road was open to single-lane alternate traffic in both directions.
However, at around 8:30 a.m., a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 7, seven kilometers west of Kent, B.C., forced the road to close in both directions west of Agassiz. . No detour is currently available. Single-lane traffic continues to alternate east of Agassiz.
This essentially reduced travel between Hope and Mission, BC updates are available on DriveBC.
Many other highways remain closed or are subject to a traffic advisory due to the impact of previous flooding and mudslides.
On Tuesday, Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet was closed until further notice due to weather conditions. The stretch saw a mudslide that left four dead and one missing.
The section of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) between Abbotsford and Chilliwack, crucial to connect Metro Vancouver and the rest of the province, remains closed.
There is also a travel advisory for Highway 20 in the Bella Coola Valley region on the Central Coast.
Although Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton has reopened, allowing commercial vehicles and other essential travel, the storm choked the province’s supply chain.
Dave Earle, president of the BC Trucking Association, said Tuesday it takes truckers “more than double the time” to get goods from one point of the province to another.
Tuesday also saw the announcement of a possible strike by container truck drivers serving the Port of Vancouver, and continued impacts on railway lines.
Canadian National (CN) said Monday it had halted part of its rail service along the southern British Columbia freight corridor because rain caused an increase in debris, washouts and landslides.
CN diverted some rail traffic to the Port of Prince Rupert, but northbound and eastbound traffic to and from Vancouver was still affected.
Fuel rationing is also expected to remain in place in British Columbia until at least December 14.