B.C. Floods: Eleven more people rescued overnight in Abbotsford, as 40 residents refuse to leave
Eleven more people were rescued overnight from the Sumas Prairie area of Abbotsford, where floods have caused catastrophic damage to property and animals.
About 40 residents, however, are refusing to leave, a decision city emergency officials said Thursday is putting the lives of emergency crews at risk.
“We are not out of this by a long shot,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun, at an early-morning news conference Thursday. He said those who were refusing to leave were likely farmers located in the eastern part of Sumas Prairie who are worried about getting water and food to their livestock.
A broken water main is making it difficult to get water to farmers who defied the order, but efforts are underway to find and fix the leaks, said Braun.
That figure does not include rebuilding the dikes, he added.
In addition to the 11 residents rescued overnight, one more rescue was underway Thursday morning. Officials said about 100 residents displaced from their homes were staying at the Emergency Support Services shelter overnight Wednesday.
The water has been receding on the western side of Sumas Prairie but the water from the Nooksack River in Washington State is still rising, Braun said, adding while he is not concerned about today’s rain he is worried about next week’s forecast, which calls for another soaking of Metro Vancouver.
“This is a situation that we are very closely monitoring,” said Braun, adding that he will be speaking with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee later Thursday to discuss what is being done to mitigate flooding from the Nooksack.