PREP Watch Vancouver, it's completely cut off

Melodi

Disaster Cat
From the BBC:
Deadly storm cuts transport links around Vancouver
Published7 hours ago
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Watch: British Columbia left devastated after storm
A deadly storm described by officials as a once-in-a-century weather event has severed road and rail links around Vancouver, Canada.

Two motorways connecting the West Coast city were closed after being damaged by severe flooding.

Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes due to the massive storm, which struck on Monday.
A woman was killed in a highway landslide, and rescuers say at least two other people are missing.

The woman's body was found near Lillooet, about 250km (155 miles) from Vancouver, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

RCMP Sgt Janelle Shoihet said that rescuers had not yet determined the number of occupied vehicles that were lost in the slide, according to AFP news agency.

Motorist Kathie Rennie told CBC News she saw the landslide come down on traffic that was already at a standstill south of Lillooet.

"No sooner do we get back into our vehicles, the people that were in front of us are just screaming and running," she said. "The look on their faces, it was like a tsunami was coming. It was the scariest thing that I've ever seen.

"I just turned around, and I'm just watching the whole side of the mountain coming down and taking out these cars... everything just being swept away. Just complete panic."

'Worst weather storm in a century'
The provincial minister of transportation, Rob Fleming, told a news conference it was the "worst weather storm in a century".

Thousands of homes in British Columbia were evacuated after an "atmospheric river" dumped the region's monthly rainfall average in just 24 hours.

All 7,000 residents of Merritt, about 120 miles north-east of Vancouver, were ordered to flee their homes on Monday.

Snow fell on there on Tuesday, and cars could be seen floating in icy flood waters in town.

Helicopter crews were also sent to the mountain town of Agassiz to rescue about 300 people who became trapped on a cut-off road.

Monday's rains and winds had largely finished by Tuesday afternoon, but several communities remained stranded.

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Part of the Trans-Canada Highway, which connects Vancouver to the rest of the country, was submerged under water.

A chunk of the Coquihalla Highway, which links Vancouver to the province interior, appeared to have crumbled into floodwaters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa he was monitoring the situation.

"We'll be there to help in any way, shape or form," Mr Trudeau said.

At one point the main available land route out of Vancouver was to enter the US and then return to Canada. However, re-entering Canada from the US requires a negative coronavirus test, and roads in the border state of Washington were also affected by the storm.

The port of Vancouver, the largest in Canada, was forced to suspend all rail access because of the flooding and landslides, halting shipments of food, fuel and other goods.

The port moves about C$550m ($440m) worth of cargo every day, according to Reuters news agency. Fuel pipelines in the area have also been turned off as a precaution.

It comes after British Columbia suffered a record high heat wave over the summer that killed more than 500 people, and wildfires that destroyed an entire town.

Earlier this month, a tornado was spotted in British Columbia - the first time one has been seen in the area in five decades.
line
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Tens of thousands without power in the USA and Canada (same storm)...The UK Guardian
Pacific north-west storm wreaks havoc, with one dead and Vancouver cut off
Fears death toll will rise after record rainfall destroys highways and leaves tens of thousands in the US and Canada without power

00:59
Heavy rains across Canada and US cause 'devastating' floods and spark evacuations – video

Leyland Cecco in Toronto and agencies
Wed 17 Nov 2021 05.06 GMT



At least one person has been killed and several more are feared dead after a huge storm hit the Pacific north-west, destroying highways and leaving tens of thousands of people in Canada and the US without power.

Canada’s largest port was cut off by flood waters, as emergency crews in British Columbia announced on Tuesday that at least 10 vehicles had been swept off a highway during a landslide.


Mudslide on Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia<br>A view of the Coquihalla Highway following mudslides and flooding in British Columbia, Canada November 14, 2021, in this picture obtained from social media on November 15, 2021. Courtesy of British Columbia Transportation/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Record rainfall prompts evacuations along the Pacific north-west
Read more

“We’re hopeful to find people alive. But obviously that diminishes with time, the nature of the slide activity. People being caught up in mud and debris, it certainly diminishes as time goes by,” David MacKenzie, the Pemberton district search and rescue manager, told the Globe and Mail.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed a woman’s body was recovered from the site of the landslide during a search the previous night.
Highway 1 looking westbound towards Abbotsford is almost completely underwater on 16 November.

Highway 1 looking westbound towards Abbotsford is almost completely underwater on 16 November. Photograph: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

“The total number of people and vehicles unaccounted for has not been confirmed, however investigators have received two missing people reports and believe there may have been other occupied vehicles that were lost in the slide,” said sergeant Janelle Shoihet of the BC RCMP.

Search crews, working alongside the military, planned to use heavy equipment and dog teams to continue their search for survivors after poor weather hampered efforts. On Monday rescue helicopters airlifted 275 people, including 50 children, from a section of highway blocked by landslides.

Although the high winds and the rains caused by an atmospheric river – a huge plume of moisture extending over the Pacific – began easing in the region, most of British Columbia remained under either flood watch or flood warning.

South of the border, tens of thousands of households and businesses remain without power in Washington state. Nearly 50,000 Washington state electrical customers still had no power Tuesday after days of heavy rain triggered mudslides and floods and forced the closure of the west coast’s main north-south highway near the Canadian border, officials said.

Authorities said one person was still missing Tuesday near bellingham after being seen in flood waters clinging to a tree.

The Washington governor Jay Inslee declared a severe weather state of emergency in 14 counties and said the state emergency management division, with support from the Washington national guard, would coordinate the response.

Earlier in the day, the port of Vancouver, the largest in Canada, announced that all rail access had been cut by floods and landslides further to the east, a development that could hit shipments of grain, coal and potash. The TransMountain pipeline, which carries 300,000 barrels of oil a day, was also shut down.
A volunteer uses a boat to rescue people, including a toddler, who were stranded in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

A volunteer uses a boat to rescue people, including a toddler, who were stranded in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Photograph: Darryl Dyck/AP

With all of its surrounding highways closed off due to damage, including a section of the Coquihalla highway that officials warn could take months to repair, the city of Vancouver is cut off from the rest of Canada by road.
Aerial footage of the Fraser Valley, south-east of Vancouver, showed swaths of the land, including highways, underwater.

“This is an uncertain and scary time for people who are affected. They don’t understand what’s happening and what the future will be,” the Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun told reporters on Tuesday after parts of the city were placed under evacuation order.

Barge Runs Aground During Vancouver Windstorm, British Columbia, Canada - 15 Nov 2021<br>Mandatory Credit: Photo by Quinn Bender/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock (12604371a) A sea barge collides with the shore of Vancouver's English Bay during a storm carrying northwest winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90 km/h. Barge Runs Aground During Vancouver Windstorm, British Columbia, Canada - 15 Nov 2021
‘A tipping point’: how poor forestry fuels floods and fires in western Canada
Read more

As the scope of the damage became more clear, provincial officials faced questions over whether they adequately prepared residents for the heavy deluge of rain, which broke numerous records. Many of the alerts issued to drivers are highly localized, meaning travellers between two cities might not be aware of regional risks like flooding.

BC’s public safety minister Mike Farnworth defended his government’s handling of the situation, telling reporters the province warned residents that driving conditions would be dangerous.

“Those warnings and travel advisories are out. You know there was a lot of warnings that you know there’s a lot of rain coming and you know what most people stay home,” he said. “Most people stayed home and the reality is that communities are prepared.
 

L42A1

Contributing Member
We still have a port on the left coast unaffected by the weather but only one rail line. And its actually closer to asia then Hongcouver. Prince Rupert. I live in the southern interior of BC so only rain and power outages here. My creek got high but no biggy. The Abbotsford area is being inundated with water from the states. The whole area is a old flood plain and this has happened before back after WW2. Problem is all kinds of dikes and elevated roadways were put in over time but the huge amount of water coming from Washington was not considered much of a factor. Thoughts and prayers out to my fellow
BCers on the left coast and my grown up son in Hongcouver
 

parocan

Veteran Member
Looks like we are already running out of gas here on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
Friend's hubby went to gas up and discovered they had no regular gas, just the expensive high
end gas and it was running low as well. The Malahat our main highway to get up island is being
shut down completely from 6 pm to 6am so they can get it fixed. It is open during the day but only the north bound side
with alternating traffic a half an hour at a time. There is another route the goes through Cowichan to port renfrew
then down the west side of the island to Victoria, but there is no way big rigs can fit through some of the turns on it.
1637179241211.png
 

Bridey Rose

Senior Member
Well, if they start eating each other at least they'll be enjoying the flavor of poutine in their people meat!

(Sung to the tune of Smoke That Cigarette):
"Eat, eat, eat that people meat
Eat, eat, eat it cause it's so delicious and sweet
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
He'll just have to sit and wait
While you dish up some more of that tasty
people meat!"
 

parocan

Veteran Member
A friend ventured out to the local costco, she figures there was about 200-300 people waiting to get in the store.
And the line for the gas bar was lined up out onto the main road. All gas stations she saw had line ups out onto the
main roads around them. She managed to get 2 bags of chicken feed from Buckerfields feed store. They said they
will be out of feed by this evening with no idea when they will get some more in from up island.
 

DefVoid

God Luck and good speed!
People in my town are starting to hoard.

Toilet paper at Costco is all gone. And I just drove by a gas station close to my house that had a lineup going through the parking lot and down the road.
 

parocan

Veteran Member
So glad I ordered a few more chickens for my flock a few months ago. Even though
I live in the suburbs, we are allowed to have chickens. And here on the island we have our own
dairy producer Island Farms so we should be all right for milk, hopefully. Unfortunately
the mainland will be having shortages of milk. And it looks like more chicken meat shortages
are on the way as well.
Thousands of animals dead in ‘agricultural disaster,’ says B.C. government
November 18, 2021 UPDATED

CBC NEWS
Thousands of farm animals have died in an “agriculture disaster” in British Columbia set off by floods that swamped an area of the province known for its prime farming industry.
Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said many farmers attempted to move their animals by boat as their property flooded but were forced to abandon them, “as the roads were disappearing beneath them.”

Even the animals that were successfully moved are in poor health and some may need to be euthanized, she said.
“The animals that are getting moved through those water flows have been able to make it to a safe spot, but to tell you the truth, they’re not in good shape when they get there,” she said Wednesday during the same news conference where the B.C. government declared a state of emergency.
She said hundreds of farms have been affected by flooding, many of them in the Fraser Valley, about 100 kilometres east of Vancouver.

“And we have thousands of animals that have perished. We have many, many more that are in difficult situations and we’re seeing an animal welfare issue develop,” Popham said.
There will have to be euthanizations, while there are also animals that have survived that will be in critical need of care, the minister said.

The government is working to get safe access for veterinarians to those farms as soon as possible.
The animals that survived will be in critical need of food for the next 24 hours as flooding wiped out access to feed, said Popham.

Dozens of the farms under evacuation orders in the Fraser Valley region are poultry farms, says the national group that speaks for chicken farmers.
Lisa Bishop-Spencer, the communications director with Chicken Farmers of Canada, said of the 310 chicken farms in B.C., 61 farms are being evacuated, 22 of which are broiler farms, where chickens are raised for their meat.
“Everyone’s still trying to make sure that themselves and their families are safe and taking as best care of their birds as possible, but we don’t have any specific information on losses yet,” she said.

It’s fair to expect some losses as farmers were faced with challenging conditions trying to move animals to safety, she said.
Dairy and chicken farms cover the Sumas Prairie area of Abbotsford, the same location that residents in 1,000 properties were told to evacuate on Tuesday.
Farmers spent hours Tuesday working to transport their animals to safety, in some cases relying on boats and other watercraft.

B.C. is the third-largest chicken-producing province in the country, said Bishop-Spencer, but their organization is working to ensure there are no supply issues once help has been given to all farmers and animals.
“We’re working with federal and provincial partners just to deploy support and assistance wherever,” she said.
The mayor of Abbotsford said he does not know how many farm animals may have been lost as floodwaters washed over the city Tuesday.

Sumas Prairie is part of Abbotsford, which was deluged by water over a 72-hour period starting Saturday.
Mayor Henry Braun said he watched farmers trudge through water that was 1.5 metres deep to get the livestock out.
“We have no numbers. There’s a lot of birds out there too. I saw barns that looked like they were half full of water. I can’t imagine that there are any birds left alive, but we don’t have those numbers.”
Braun said Tuesday he knew the farmers wanted to protect their animals.
“Many would give their lives for their animals,” Braun said.
The situation grew more frantic Tuesday night when it appeared a crucial water pump station would be overwhelmed.

Braun urged those farmers who had ignored the evacuation order to leave their animals and get out.
By Wednesday, the pump station had been surrounded by sandbags and Braun said he felt better about the situation.
Holger Schwichtenberg, chair of the board for the BC Dairy Association, said 25 to 30 cows were being transported to his own farm in Agassiz on Tuesday from another farm in the Fraser Valley.
“This is an example of an industry coming together when things really get ugly,” Schwichtenberg said. “We’re doing the best that we can with the situation that we’ve been handed and it’s a tough one.”

The B.C. Milk Marketing Board has advised dairy farmers in areas like Abbotsford, Chilliwack and the B.C. Interior to dump any milk into manure piles because mudslides and road washouts have made it impossible to transport.
Many B.C. dairy producers have no road access at all to their farms right now. In other cases where milk can be picked up from the farm, there is nowhere for it to go.
Schwichtenberg said this week’s flooding has put a strain on the industry, which is still reeling from a disastrous summer.
“We had a long, hot summer, we had a very poor growing season unless you had irrigation, the ongoing effects of COVID, and now we have this situation,” he said.
“It’s testing the resilience of dairy farmers, that’s for sure.”
By Brittany Hobson
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2021.
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Military deployed as Pacific north-west grapples with devastating floods
British Columbia’s premier issues state of emergency and warns death toll expected to rise as one fatality confirmed
A fire burns at an RV dealership in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on 17 November.

A fire burns at an RV dealership in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on 17 November. Photograph: Quinn Bender/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Leyland Cecco in Toronto
Thu 18 Nov 2021 07.14 GMT



Troops have been deployed in British Columbia to help stranded residents and search areas hit by landslides and floods after a powerful storm dumped a month’s worth of rain in two days across a swath of the Pacific north-west in Canada and the US.

The Canadian government approved a request for federal assistance from the embattled province on Wednesday, the minister of emergency preparedness Bill Blair confirmed.

Military personnel will assist with evacuation efforts, support supply chains and protect residents against floods and landslides.

Some members of the armed forces were already on the ground and additional troops were expected to arrive shortly, defence minister Anita Anand said.

It comes after British Columbia’s premier issued a state of emergency, warning that the death toll is expected to rise.

“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for British Columbians,” said John Horgan. “Heavy rains, strong winds, flooding has devastated entire communities of our province.”

“While Environment Canada called this a 1-in-100 year event, we know the increased likelihood of intense storms is due to the climate crisis,” Horgan added.

He said the province will impose travel restrictions to ensure critical goods can be brought to communities. Officials also warned of a looming animal welfare crisis with agriculture minister Lana Popham noting “thousands of animals have perished” in the flooding so far.

South of the border in Washington state, water levels showed signs of dropping on Wednesday after floods damaged three-quarters of the homes in the border town of Sumas, leaving 1,600 residents without power and forcing hundreds to flee.

Flooding on the Sumas Prairie in Abbostford
How bad is the Pacific north-west flooding and what caused it?
Read more

But in Canada, with at least one woman confirmed dead in a landslide , communities cut off from the rest of the province saw little sign of respite.
Floodwaters cover Highway 1 in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on 16 November.

Floodwaters cover Highway 1 in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on 16 November. Photograph: Jonathan Hayward/AP

01:06
Aerial footage shows aftermath of catastrophic floods that hit British Columbia – video

Vancouver remained isolated from the rest of the country by road and the two largest rail companies, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, have said damage to their tracks has halted freight service.

In the city of Abbotsford, emergency crews using helicopters and boats rescued 184, as the mayor warned “catastrophic” flooding could occur if its pump station failed.

“Nothing is worth your life,” Henry Braun told residents in an emergency news conference. “I implore anyone who is listening to this to please heed the evacuation order and leave. Tomorrow morning may be too late.”

Much of the area lies on the former site of Sumas Lake, a vast body of water which was drained in the last century. City officials feared that pumps, which divert water from the basin at a rate of half a million gallons a minute, were on the verge of failing – meaning even more water would inundate parts of the city.

Hundreds of locals joined efforts to stack sandbags around the pumping station, and on Wednesday morning, Braun said the river levels were dropping – and it appeared the pumps would hold.

Trina Enns told CBC News said she and a neighbouring family slept inside a McDonald’s in Abbotsford after evacuating their homes nearby.

“Lots of people slept in their cars overnight,” she said. With the surrounding area underwater, the manager arranged a boat to bring people to the restaurant.

Officials in the town of Merritt also pleaded with residents who had defied a mandatory evacuation to leave their homes, as a bridge in the British Columbia community collapsed into the swollen Nicola river.

The local water treatment facility was overwhelmed by flood waters earlier in the week, so the water flowing through the city is now mixed with sewage and is undrinkable.

Snow fell on the flooded town overnight, but dozens of locals, fearing their homes could be looted, have refused to leave, instead sharing tips on finding food on social media.

Residents of Sumas Prairie, a vast area of agricultural land to the north-east of Abbotsford, have spent the last two days desperately trying to move farm animals to safety, with some taking to jet skis to herd cattle through the floods.
A person tries to rescue stranded cattle from a farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on 16 November.

A person tries to rescue stranded cattle from a farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, on 16 November. Photograph: Jesse Winter/Reuters

Chloe Devito was devastated to learn that her 21-month-old dog Rio was had drowned when the floods overwhelmed a kennel facility in Sumas Prairie.

“We were told it all happened so quickly. The water came in through the house and and the power was out. The owner said she was like up to her neck in water, freezing cold, muddy, black water, trying to pull the dogs out of the house,” she told the Guardian.
“We just don’t know how it happened so quickly, we don’t understand.”

Evacuation alerts have been rescinded in the city of Chilliwack in Abbotsford as well as the Eagle Mountain Areas, Ten Oaks, Straiton Areas and Matsqui Village. Flood warnings in the affected areas of Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon have also been downgraded, according to the British Columbia River Forecast Centre.

As British Columbia officials started to tally the damage, angry residents asked why the provincial government failed to use its mobile phone alert system even as record rains fell, highways were destroyed and bridges collapsed.

The alert network was rolled out nationally three years ago, but British Columbia has never sent out a message, not even in July when a deadly “heat dome” overwhelmed south-western parts of the province, killing nearly 600 people.

“It is one tool,” said the province’s public safety minister, Mike Farnworth, on Monday. “It is not a silver bullet.”
On Tuesday, acknowledging “an absolutely unprecedented, torrential deluge like we’ve never seen before”, Farnworth said his government would assess how the system could be improved in the future.

Barge Runs Aground During Vancouver Windstorm, British Columbia, Canada - 15 Nov 2021<br>Mandatory Credit: Photo by Quinn Bender/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock (12604371a) A sea barge collides with the shore of Vancouver's English Bay during a storm carrying northwest winds of 70 km/h gusting to 90 km/h. Barge Runs Aground During Vancouver Windstorm, British Columbia, Canada - 15 Nov 2021
‘A tipping point’: how poor forestry fuels floods and fires in western Canada
Read more

Kim Johansson, 38, a mother of two who lives on a low-lying island suburb of Vancouver, said she only found out that roads were closed when she tried to reach her children’s school on Monday morning.

“There were neither road nor flood warnings,” she said, adding: “It seems nobody expected the storm to be so devastating. The rain was just incessant for 24 hours.”

For those in areas cut off by flood waters, the coming days will prove to be a challenge.
Residents of Sumas Prairie look at flooding on 16 November.

Residents of Sumas Prairie look at flooding on 16 November. Photograph: Quinn Bender/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

“The roads into our community are washed out,” said Andy Harrington, who lives near the city of Chilliwack, 100km (62 miles) east of Vancouver. “Most of the city is dry at the moment but it’s completely cut off. We’re surrounded by water.”

He said the rain fell so hard “it felt like being in a bathroom shower for 24 hours”.

Harrington said there was a strong sense of community spirit, with neighbours checking in on each other and clearing debris.
Flooding on BC Highway 7 is seen on 15 November in a handout photo made available by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Flooding on BC Highway 7 is seen on 15 November in a handout photo made available by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Photograph: Ministry Of Transportation And Infrastructure/EPA
“But longer-term, there’s just no way to get supplies into Chilliwack at the moment and we don’t know how long that’s going to be. There’s no roads.”

Harrington, who works in global humanitarian relief and frequently travels to areas with crumbling infrastructure, said he remained in shock at the devastation.

“Things that we just thought would always be there – like highway bridges that were built 30 years ago that were part of our life – were absolutely destroyed.

“Mountainsides just collapsed on to roads. The level of destruction is really difficult to comprehend.”
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Canada death toll set to rise after 'catastrophic' floods
Updated / Thursday, 18 Nov 2021 06:57


British Columbia has seen extreme weather this week

British Columbia has seen extreme weather this week

Canada is sending the military to help evacuate and support communities hit by "catastrophic" flooding with the death toll expected to rise after record rainfall on the Pacific coast triggered a state of emergency yesterday.

Officials said downpours in British Columbia this week trapped motorists in mudslides that left at least one dead and four missing, forced thousands of residents to flee their homes, and cut off Vancouver and its port.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Washington ahead of meeting with his US and Mexican counterparts, said the heavy rains caused "historical and terrible flooding that has disrupted the lives and taken lives of people across BC".

"I can confirm there are hundreds of Canadian Armed Forces members currently headed to British Columbia to help with everything from supplies to evacuation to whatever is needed," he said.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan declared a state of emergency and imposed a travel ban, telling reporters "catastrophic" rains, winds and flooding "have devastated entire communities of our province".

"We expect to confirm even more fatalities in the coming days," he added.

This week's extreme weather comes after British Columbia suffered record-high summer temperatures that killed more than 500 people, as well as wildfires that destroyed a town.

"These events are increasing in regularity because of the effects of human-caused climate change," Mr Horgan commented, just days after world leaders met in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference.





A resident walks through the flooded Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford, British Columbia
Airlifted to safety

By Tuesday afternoon the torrential rains had let up. An estimated 300 motorists trapped on highways by mudslides have been airlifted to safety and a few evacuation orders have been rescinded.

But Henry Braun, mayor of hard-hit Abbotsford east of Vancouver, told a briefing: "We're not out of this yet."

"If we have another weather event like we just went through, we are in deep doo-doo," he said.

Meanwhile, searches continue for more possible victims, after a woman's body was recovered from a mudslide near Lillooet, 250km northeast of Vancouver.

Motorist Kathie Rennie told public broadcaster CBC she witnessed "the whole side of the mountain coming down and taking out these cars... everything just being swept away. Just complete panic."

Canadian police, Staff Sergeant Janelle Shoihet said late yesterday, "have received a fourth missing person report related to the Lillooet mudslide".

As the season's first snow flurries started falling over inland towns covered in mud and partially inundated, residents scrambled for food, heat and water.

Many grocery shop shelves were empty, as supply chain disruptions led to panic buying.

Mr Horgan urged citizens not to hoard: "You do not need 48 eggs. A dozen will do, and leave the rest for somebody else."

On the outskirts of Vancouver, livestock were pulled from hundreds of flooded farms on the Sumas Prairie - including a cow towed behind a jet ski through a meter of water to higher ground.

"We have thousands of animals that have perished," with many more in "difficult situations," said British Columbia Agriculture Minister Lana Popham.

Overnight almost 200 people were airlifted from the area to safety.

Vancouver cut off

Key highways remain closed. As a result, motorists wanting to travel to or from Vancouver have to go south to the United States and back up into Canada.

Landslides also cut off rail traffic to and from Vancouver - one of Canada's busiest freight sea ports.

"We're working diligently to assess the damage and make sure that we can get those supply roads back in shape as quickly as possible," Mr Horgan said. "But the conditions are severe."

Environment Canada said up to 250mm of rain - what the region normally gets in a month - fell Sunday and Monday in and around Vancouver, which was also hit last week by a rare tornado.

Meteorologists blamed an "atmospheric river," or narrow strip of moisture carried from tropical regions towards the poles, for the deluge.
 

Scrapman

Veteran Member
Another case of liberal government spending all the money on social projects and little on infrastructure. Coming to the US soon.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Uh, I don't live there so I don't know the details, but I did grow up in California which had severe and torrential flooding every few years.

Massive mudslides that bring mountainsides down onto highways, burying cars (and people) as they go, washing out bridges, and putting buildings underwater are not something that is easily prepared for. Especially if it is the worst recorded rain in 100 years.

A storm that was the "worst in 50 years" send the mountainside down onto our neighbor's horse ranch, they risked their lives in the face of the racing mud to fling open the stables and let the horses run. They managed to mount two of them bareback and led them to our house, where they asked my Mother politely if since we had a 10-foot fence they could put them there which was done.

The investigators said that just a few moments later everything and everyone would have been DEAD.

I gather this is what happened in and around Vancouver on a massive scale, made worse by parts of the city and/or a nearby town (local people will know) that was built on an old lake bed drained in the 19th century that filled back up again (at least partially).

California (and other places in the US I've lived in) also has a bad habit of ignoring or getting "zoning variants" for old lakes, flood plains, dried creek beds, and earthquake faults when nothing has happened for 30 years or more.

An old man who had lived in our valley in California since the 1930s said of the landslide that nearly killed our neighbors and their horses:

"The same thing happened in the 1930s, those hills came down like that before and they will again, people keep building on them and people keep dying on them; the ALWAYS FORGET."
 

parocan

Veteran Member
Uh, I don't live there so I don't know the details, but I did grow up in California which had severe and torrential flooding every few years.

Massive mudslides that bring mountainsides down onto highways, burying cars (and people) as they go, washing out bridges, and putting buildings underwater are not something that is easily prepared for. Especially if it is the worst recorded rain in 100 years.

A storm that was the "worst in 50 years" send the mountainside down onto our neighbor's horse ranch, they risked their lives in the face of the racing mud to fling open the stables and let the horses run. They managed to mount two of them bareback and led them to our house, where they asked my Mother politely if since we had a 10-foot fence they could put them there which was done.

The investigators said that just a few moments later everything and everyone would have been DEAD.

I gather this is what happened in and around Vancouver on a massive scale, made worse by parts of the city and/or a nearby town (local people will know) that was built on an old lake bed drained in the 19th century that filled back up again (at least partially).

California (and other places in the US I've lived in) also has a bad habit of ignoring or getting "zoning variants" for old lakes, flood plains, dried creek beds, and earthquake faults when nothing has happened for 30 years or more.

An old man who had lived in our valley in California since the 1930s said of the landslide that nearly killed our neighbors and their horses:

"The same thing happened in the 1930s, those hills came down like that before and they will again, people keep building on them and people keep dying on them; the ALWAYS FORGET."
yup exactly the Sumas Prairie that's between Chilliwack and Abbotsford used to be a lake. They built
the Barrowtown pumping station to get rid of the water. It was almost inundated but the locals managed to
sandbag around it. But it still couldn't keep up with the amount of water. It's still a natural catch basin so of
course that's where the water is going to go. It also doesn't help with the amount of fires we have had over the past few years in the mountain have killed alot of trees there by weakening the mountain sides.
 

parocan

Veteran Member
It was just a matter of time Before this area had a massive flood.
A bit of history about the Sumas lake.
lots of photo's at the link.
What is Sumas Lake? 100 years ago, Abbotsford had a 134 sq km lake (PHOTOS)
On a typical day, 80,000 vehicles drive along the Fraser Valley stretch of Highway 1 between the Whatcom Road interchange in Abbotsford and the Yale Road interchange in Chilliwack.

But almost a century ago, this 10 km highway segment, roughly following the southeastern perimeter of the base of Sumas Mountain, was the shoreline of the vast Sumas Lake. The agricultural and livestock areas that stretch from Sumas Mountain in the northwest to Vedder Mountain in the southeast are on a low-lying area that was previously the bottom of a lake.

Depending on the source, the estimated size of the former Sumas Lake greatly varies, but there was consensus that this was a significant body of water that greatly fluctuated in size as the seasons changed.

In its surveys following the region’s 1990 flood, the United States Army Corps of Engineers estimated the dormant lake’s maximum extent, reaching across the border at times, was about 80 sq km — equivalent to over 20% the geographic size of the City of Abbotsford today or 70% of the City of Vancouver. Put another way, Sumas Lake was 13 times larger than Cultus Lake or 20 times larger than Stanley Park.

The provincial government’s records of estimated springtime rainfall and snowmelt into the Chilliwack and Vedder rivers grew the lake’s size from about 40 sq km to up to approximately 134 sq km, equivalent to the size of Vancouver, New Westminster, and the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus combined.

The ever-changing lake shoreline was highly problematic for European farmers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, who saw their crops frequently destroyed by the lack of predictability in the size of the water body from seasonal freshet. However, there was opposition to the approach from local Indigenous populations, who depended on the lake as a source of food and their way of life. In 2013, the descendents of the Sumas First Nation contemplated pursuing compensation for historic losses from the disappearance of the lake.

But European settlers in the early 1900s also made their case for draining the lake by pointing out that it created a mosquito population nightmare during the flood season. Research by Abbotsford’s The Reach Gallery Museum states the mosquitoes were such a problem to the extent that it forced schools to close, with children kept indoors for up to six weeks. As well, farmers reported that unprotected young livestock died from the loss of blood.

According to a 1996 UBC thesis by Caroline Berka on the Sumas River watershed, the lake was drained and reclaimed in 1925 with the completion of the Vedder Canal and Sumas Pump Station, which diverted the Sumas River along four creeks. As well, 40 km of flood protection dikes were also built at the time.

Within a few years, tens of thousands of acres of farmland were added to the Lower Mainland, becoming the Sumas Prairie of quilted, pristine green fields. This area of the former lake bed became some of the most productive farmland in Canada.
Almost exactly 60 years later in 1984, the Sumas Pump Station was replaced with the Barrowtown Pump Station — a modernized, higher-capacity water pump to keep the Sumas Prairie dry by moderating the water levels of the Sumas River. With its high dikes, the Chilliwack River-fed Vedder Canal naturally flows into the Fraser River from gravitational pull as it is on a higher elevation. On the other hand, the pump station moves water from the lower elevation Sumas Canal to the other side of an earthfill dam that leads into the Fraser River.

Following the historic rainstorm that swept across much of BC earlier this week, this entire intricate system that prevents the Sumas Lake from reforming is on the verge of collapse. Officials with the City of Abbotsford sounded the alarm Tuesday evening over the imminent failure of the Barrowtown Pump Station that prevents excess water from entering the Sumas Prairie.

Excess water was already an issue from the Fraser River and other channels spilling their banks from the incredible rainfall recorded from Sunday through early Tuesday, and then funnelling into the low-lying areas of the Fraser Valley. These conditions have proven to be too much for the Barrowtown Pump Station.

City officials in their immediate evacuation notice of the Sumas Prairie went as far to say that “the event is anticipated to be catastrophic.”
“The Barrowtown Pump Station serves as a critical piece of infrastructure to ensure the Sumas Lake does not reform,” stated the city in Tuesday night’s release.

“With the failure of this key piece of infrastructure, water within the Sumas Prairie will not be able to be pumped out and water from the Fraser River will begin entering the already flooded Sumas Prairie area.”

In a scenario without a fully operational Barrowtown Pump Station, there is no telling when the currently flooded Sumas Prairie and Highway 1 segments, along with the reformation of Sumas Lake, could be drained. The lake would likely quickly re-emerge within days of the pump station’s failure, with water cascading from the Fraser River into areas below sea level.

However, by Wednesday morning, it became clear that disaster in the Sumas Prairie was narrowly averted for now, thanks to the efforts of about 300 people, including firefighters, contractors, farmers, and volunteers, who worked throughout the night to protect the pump station from floodwaters.


Devastating images of dozens of kilometres of the Fraser Valley submerged may seem eery and unfamiliar, but flooding to such an extent has happened before. It is a well-known and researched fact that the region’s low-lying areas are at risk for a major flooding event.

According to the Fraser Floods Research Group project by Simon Fraser University students in 2018, the 1894 event was the largest flood ever recorded in the Lower Mainland, driven by an above average winter snowpack and hot spring conditions. Flooding began on May 25 and reached a peak on June 10, with flooding stretching from Harrison to Richmond. Low-lying areas such as Annacis Island were entirely under water.

The same flood-inducing conditions were repeated again in May 1948. While the extent of the flooding was not as extreme as the 1894 event, the flood of 1948 still inundated tens of thousands of agricultural acres in the Fraser Valley, including the Sumas Prairie. The flood was comparatively smaller but far more destructive, given that the region had at this point seen more urban development through settlement. Over 2,300 homes were destroyed, and 16,000 people had to evacuate, leaving their farm-based livelihoods behind.

The 1948 event severely damaged the railways in the region, marking the first time Vancouver was cut off by land from the rest of the country since the railways were built. With wartime resources still fresh, the federal government was able to quickly mobilize the military to assist with evacuations, performing engineering work on dikes, and cleaning up.

In November 1990, the Sumas Prairie and the adjacent segment of Highway 1 flooded after the Nooksack River in Washington State overflowed its banks from heavy rainfall. Thousands of people were evacuated on both sides of the border, and two people died. The waters receded after about a week.

Environment Canada meteorologists have stated that the contributing factors of November 2021’s floods were a combination of heavy rainfall — totalling an entire month’s worth of precipitation in some areas — and the rapid melt of the season’s early snowpack from the elevated freezing levels high above the mountains. This was a moisture-laden system that accumulated its strength from tropical waters.

It is unclear when floodwaters in the Fraser Valley will peak; Tuesday night’s bulletin from the City of Abbotsford warned additional water flow down from Sumas Mountain was creating further flooding in the Sumas Prairie. The storm’s rainfall and snowmelt water from the mountains deep in the BC interior is still making its way towards the Lower Mainland from the Fraser River.


A 2016 study by the Fraser Basin Council on the Lower Mainland’s flood management strategy estimated that a repeat of the severity of the 1894 flood would currently cost about $23 billion in damages, including $9 billion in losses to residential, commercial, public, and institutional buildings; $7.7 billion in interrupted cargo shipments; $4.6 billion in infrastructure losses; and $1.6 billion in agricultural losses.

The Lower Mainland also faces a risk of flooding from the volcanic eruption of Mount Baker, which is just across the border, southeast of Sumas Prairie. Geologists have deemed lahars — the term for destructive mudflows with the consistency of wet concrete — to be Mount Baker’s greatest threat.

The potential for lahars is significant as Mount Baker has an estimated 1.8 cubic km of glacial ice – more than all of the other volcanoes on the Cascade Volcanic Arc combined, excluding Mount Rainier. Within hours of an eruption, lahars and flooding could occur in the Fraser Valley and parts of eastern Metro Vancouver.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Wow, this just keeps looking worse and worse, 18,000 people haven't even been reached yet, though the old lake is being held at bay (for now) by the pumping station. This may be the worst natural disaster in modern Canadian history and it is right up there I would say for most of North America (up there with the New Madrid Quakes, 1906 San Francisco Quake, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Popo, Camile, Katrina, and a few others).
18,000 still stranded after British Columbia flooding
Updated / Friday, 19 Nov 2021 07:39


Many of the affected towns are in mountainous areas with limited access

Many of the affected towns are in mountainous areas with limited access

Emergency crews are still trying to reach 18,000 people left stranded after floods and mudslides destroyed roads, houses and bridges in British Columbia, in what could be the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history.

Receding floodwaters helped rescue efforts, but the downpour blocked off entire towns in the Pacific Coast province and cut access to the country's largest port in Vancouver, disrupting already strained global supply chains.

Premier John Horgan declared a state of emergency and said the death toll would rise from the one confirmed fatality. Police say four more people are missing.

Many of the affected towns are in mountainous areas to the east and northeast of Vancouver with limited access.

Provincial Cabinet ministers told a briefing yesterday that some major highways were slowly starting to reopen.

Some towns reported fuel shortages.

Deputy Premier Mike Farnworth said the province was exploring whether to import fuel from the United States or neighboring Alberta.



In Ottawa, the federal minister for emergency preparedness, Bill Blair, said river flows were beginning to drop as the rain lightened.

"The situation remains critical, however, but there is in fact an improvement," he told reporters.



Mudslides have destroyed roads, houses and bridges
Ottawa has promised to send hundreds of air force personnel to British Columbia, the first of whom have already arrived. Thousands more are on standby.

Provincial Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said the food supply was secure.

"We're just rejigging routes to get it to folks, but we're definitely not going to run out of food," she told the briefing.

The flooding also hit the US state of Washington, as President Joe Biden noted before a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"We've been good friends for a while... We're both keeping our minds close to the families affected by the storms, flooding in the British Columbia area and the Pacific Northwest," he said in the Oval Office.



Water surrounds homes and farms in the Sumas area of Abbotsford
At one point, the city of Abbotsford, east of Vancouver, feared the waters would overwhelm the pumping station and force the evacuation of all 160,000 residents.

Mayor Henry Braun said there had been no change in the status of the station and water was receding "at a pretty good clip" in some parts.

"We continue to move toward the recovery phase of this emergency," he said, noting more heavy rain was forecast for next week.

"We are not out of this by a long shot yet," he said, adding he had been promised help by Mr Trudeau and provincial ministers.

"I take them all at their word. But I've also prepared them for one big bill," he said, estimating it would cost up to C$1billion ($792 million) to repair local damage.

Asked how much the total repairs would cost, Mr Farnworth, the deputy premier, said: "It's going to be a lot. It's going to be an awful lot... But what I can also tell you is this – the province has the fiscal capacity to be able to rebuild."

 

greysage

Veteran Member
Provincial Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said the food supply was secure.

"We're just rejigging routes to get it to folks, but we're definitely not going to run out of food," she told the briefing.
Does that sound like systemic racism to anyone here?
 

Laurane

Canadian Loonie
My grandson’s best 11 yr old friend just moved back from Abbotsford BC in July where his parents had been supervising several chicken operations. Last night he told me quietly that he was so glad to be back in Alberta because their home was all underwater….I assume the chickens are too. He was sad but don’t think he realizes how much was lost.

This looks like the Carolina flooding of a couple of years ago… wonder how they have cleaned that up. But this is just the start of snow and rain for winter in all those mountains. And it seems like it will be dangerous to be working on the roads as the wash outs keep happening.
 

bw

Fringe Ranger
Mr Horgan urged citizens not to hoard: "You do not need 48 eggs. A dozen will do, and leave the rest for somebody else."
I never buy less than 48 at a time. If you buy a single carton, there's a significant risk of breaking one or more on the way home. A single carton is fragile. Three or four cartons together won't get lost in the shuffle. Eggs last a long time.
 

homecanner1

Veteran Member
While we are weak and our military is otherwise indisposed over vaccine revolt and internal dissent over racial distress.

Our back door has been closed, no Red Dawn will be coming off that northern flank for awhile.

So perhaps it was divine grace. One less border to worry about right now.

Canada will rebuild in time.
 

parocan

Veteran Member
It seems like people went and hit the big super stores first. I went to our local fairways grocery store
for milk since I have avoided going out since monday. The only thing they were short on was chicken.
Found head lettuce as well, 4.99 a head, which is sadly the usual price these days.
 

parocan

Veteran Member
Looks like the gas shortages are going to get worse before they get better.
More rain on the way with 3 more rain storms after the current one hitting us today.
Refinery that supplies estimated one-third of Lower Mainland gas runs out of crude oil
Three of the main ways gas is supplied to the Lower Mainland and elsewhere in B.C. were disrupted by the flooding.
VANCOUVER — A refinery that supplies an estimated one-third of the gas to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island said Tuesday it has stopped processing operations because it had run out of crude oil due to the Trans Mountain pipeline shutdown after last week’s catastrophic flooding.
Calgary-based Parkland Corp.’s Burnaby refinery is now in “standby mode,” so that it can resume processing quickly once new shipments of crude arrive via the pipeline or rail.

“Parkland maintains some crude-oil storage on-site, so up until today, it has been able to continue operations,” said Kent Fellows, a professor at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy
He said there is storage of crude oil as well as gasoline and diesel in the Lower Mainland that can be relied upon in the short run, but he hasn’t been able to find data on how much storage there is or how full it was before the flooding.
Three of the main ways gas is supplied to the Lower Mainland and elsewhere in B.C. were disrupted by the flooding.


“Trans Mountain would also normally be shipping about 27,000 barrels per day of gasoline and diesel from refineries near Edmonton to the Lower Mainland in B.C.,” said Fellows.
U.S. imports are still running, but they usually only account for 12 per cent of the total gas supply, an estimate Fellows based on his analysis of information from a recent B.C. Utilities Commission report. It’s a much smaller base amount even as there are reports of barges with gasoline heading to B.C. from the U.S.

While Parkland normally supplies about 33 per cent of the gas to the Lower Mainland and the Island, refineries in Edmonton, shipping via Trans Mountain, usually supply about 32 per cent, and the same refineries, shipping via rail, supply about 23 per cent, said Fellows. He explained these are ballpark figures from his peer-reviewed and published research, but the exact data is often proprietary and not public.

“It’s no small piece of infrastructure” that has been impacted, agreed Toronto-based fuel analyst Dan McTeague, who is president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.
McTeague added there are some small fuel terminals in the Burrard Inlet, but their supply wouldn’t be significant enough to have an impact.

He said that, in terms of U.S. imports, it’s important to remember that while there are refineries in Seattle that can be tapped, the pipeline supplies 150,000 barrels of oil every day for three of the big five refineries in the Puget Sound and Anacortes areas of Washington state.

Some of these refineries do have the option of importing crude from elsewhere if it came to that extreme, said Martin King, a senior analyst who looks at Canadian gasoline supply for Houston-based consulting firm RBN Energy, LLC.

Nevertheless, “these are pretty limited pieces of infrastructure that can’t in themselves make up what the Trans Mountain pipeline does, and the longer that pipeline is out, obviously, the more disruptions you are going to create and the more significant the shortages may come to be,” said McTeague.

Trans Mountain said Tuesday afternoon that “if all planning and work continues to progress and no further issues with the pipeline are assessed, [it] is optimistic that we can restart the pipeline, in some capacity, by the end of the week. Key to successful execution of the restart plan will be access for equipment, fair weather and no new findings of concern.”
 

tanstaafl

Has No Life - Lives on TB
He said that ... the pipeline supplies 150,000 barrels of oil every day for three of the big five refineries in the Puget Sound and Anacortes areas of Washington state.
Well, that got my attention! Portland, Oregon (my AO) gets its gasoline from Puget Sound refineries via pipeline. I just assumed the Puget Sound refineries were getting their crude oil supplies via tanker from Alaska or something similar, but a little research shows that at least some (couldn't find data on how much) of those crude oil supplies getting refined are in fact coming via the Trans Mountain Pipeline through British Columbia.

-----

But once the pipeline restarts, refineries in Washington State, not Burnaby, appears to be first in line to start receiving oil.

"Trans Mountain has completed surveys of the Puget Sound portion of the pipeline system and is also working with U.S. officials to restart a small section of the Puget Sound Pipeline within Washington State to move oil currently held in tanks at Trans Mountain’s Laurel Station to Cherry Point for processing," the company states.

[As for Vancouver and British Columbia ...]

"Assuming TMPL is pumping by Monday [November 29] and oil gets to Parkland by Wednesday, you’re looking at another [three or four] days [tanstaafl: that sounds like the beginning of the week after next week, or about December 5-6] before it can process crude," said Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.


-----

Trans Mountain’s Puget Sound Pipeline: Shipping Products to Washington State Refineries Since 1954

The Trans Mountain Pipeline has the distinction of being both North America’s only pipeline with access to the West Coast and that carries refined product and crude oil in batches.

The system begins in Edmonton and has terminals in BC and Washington (WA) state. Each year, the volume of product shipped to each destination varies, depending on market conditions and demand.

At the Sumas delivery point in Abbotsford, BC, the Trans Mountain Pipeline connects with the Trans Mountain Puget Sound Pipeline, a system that has been shipping Canadian crude oil products since 1954 to Washington state refineries in Anacortes, Cherry Point and Ferndale for processing.

Washington state remains unconnected to Midwest pipeline networks, and relies on oil trains, oil tankers and our pipeline to supply its refineries.

The Trans Mountain Puget Sound Pipeline is a 111-kilometre (69-mile) pipeline system made up of 16- to 20-inch pipe and has the capacity for up to about 240,000 bpd (28,600 m3 per day) depending on petroleum types transported and the balance of deliveries between the two destinations – Anacortes and Ferndale.

Our 2018 product destination numbers show 53 per cent of the product in the pipeline was shipped to Puget Sound last year to serve four refineries in Washington state.

Demand for the Trans Mountain pipeline continues to be strong and the current capacity is insufficient to meet the needs of shippers. Average apportionment for the Trans Mountain Pipeline system was 40 per cent for 2018, higher than 2016 and 2017 combined. Apportionment describes the amount of demand shippers place on the pipeline in excess of its available capacity.


oil pipeline from Canada to Puget Sound.jpg
 
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