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Abbotsford city staff to outline options for flood mitigation

City looking for input on plans that could cost up to $3 billion
The floodwaters that swept over Abbotsford’s Sumas Prairie, starting on Nov. 14, destroyed Ripples Winery on Tolmie Road along with houses and barns on the property. (Photos by Caroline Mostertman)

Abbotsford’s mayor and council will be looking over four options for flood mitigation at their next public meetinng.

The price tags range from an estimated $209 million to nearly $2.79 billion.

City staff will present the options on April 4. They are as follows:

• Option 1: Status quo with enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station.

• Option 2: Status quo with enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station.

• Option 3: Added floodway and storage area, enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station.

• Option 4: Added narrow floodway, enhancements to Barrowtown Pump Station and a new Sumas River pump station and more.

Following the devastating floods in November 2021, the city has been working with engineering consulting firm Kerr Wood Leidal to develop a long-term flood mitigation plan for Sumas Prairie. The city is considering different options to enhance the city’s existing flood-related infrastructure and reduce flooding impacts to residents and the community.

Options provide varying levels of enhanced flood mitigation compared to current infrastructure in place. A staff report says that the municipality needs to take immediate action towards a solution so that the community is not as significantly impacted when future weather events occur.

But it won’t just be up to council to decide what to do. There is a chance for public input.

Over the coming months, Abbotsford residents, businesses and neighbouring governments will have the opportunity to learn more about each option and share their feedback. City staff have reached out to Sumas Prairie residents and businesses and will be engaging directly with them over the coming weeks to discuss and gain their input.

The city has also begun conversations with Semá:th, Màthexwi and Leq’á:mel First Nations leadership. Provincial and federal governments, the City of Chilliwack, Fraser Valley Regional District, and Whatcom County, Everson and Sumas in Washington State will also be engaged.

The City of Abbotsford will use the feedback to identify a preferred flood mitigation option and complete the long-term plan, which will be used to inform funding discussions with senior levels of government.

To learn more about the options and engagement on Abbotsford flood mitigation, visit:

READ MORE: 14 B.C. First Nations and communities receiving funds to create new evacuation plans


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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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