B.C. Flooding: Abbotsford mayor says floodgates partially open easing pump system
Floodgates were partially opened Saturday from the Sumas River to the Fraser River in Abbotsford, easing pressure on the city’s pump system.
“This is very good news,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said, during an afternoon news conference Saturday. “It has made a tremendous difference.”
This has lessened the flow of water breaching the Sumas dike that has been flooding in the eastern part of Sumas Prairie, he said.
“It is our hope at this point that water levels will continue to decrease in the Sumas River so that the floodgates can remain open and potentially open fully,” he said.
A day earlier, Braun revealed that Abbotsford was not only dealing with a critical situation at the Barrowtown Pump Station, which sucks water out of the Sumas Canal and into the Fraser River, but that two large breaches had occurred in the dike system that cups the western flank of the Sumas Prairie. There were also multiple smaller breaches in the dike.
The largest breach, near the western end of No. 4 Road, is 100 metres wide and three metres deep, and is allowing water to pour from the western side of the prairie to the eastern side, which is the lowest point of what was once a lake until it was drained for farms a century ago.
Meantime, there are 119 Canadian soldiers on the ground helping flood mitigation efforts and more air support is on the way.