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LETTER: Post-disaster emergency review needed

Writer states that provincial disaster preparedness needs a thorough review
A contingent of Chilliwack volunteers helped Abbotsford officials by sandbagging the Barrowtown pump station on Nov. 16, 2021. (Thomas Thalen/Instagram screenshot)

Dear Editor:

Images of volunteers frantically stacking sandbags to protect the Barrowtown pump station shows our precarious situation with this key piece of infrastructure. If the pumps had failed, if the electricity supply had been cut off, or if the sandbags had been overtopped, the flood disaster on Sumas Prairie would have been much worse.

This situation points to the need for a thorough review of provincial disaster preparedness after the water recedes and some semblance of normal is restored.

The Barrowtown pump station was supplemented with portable pumps. With climate scientists predicting heavier and more frequent rain events, then perhaps the Barrowtown facility needs to be expanded. Or another large pumping facility at another location might offer additional capacity, resilience and reliability.

Also, as the primary flood waters were down the Sumas River from the Nooksack River, in Washington, then a bi-national committee needs to examine the deficiencies in flood control facilities with joint funding of improvements to reduce the risk of another major flood into Sumas Prairie.

Sincerely, Derek Wilson - Port Moody, BC

RELATED: VIDEO: Chilliwack volunteers jumped into action to help Barrowtown sand-bagging