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Abbotsford mayor says Thursday’s rainfall hasn’t added to flood levels

Henry Braun says he is worried about potential of Nooksack River to overflow again
The dike breach at Cole Road has been fixed, as shown in this photo posted online on Nov. 25, 2021. (Photo: Abbotsford Police Department)

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said the rain Thursday (Nov. 25) has affected the Barrowtown Pump Station’s ability to reduce floodwaters in the eastern Sumas Prairie but it hasn’t added to the levels.

Speaking at the city’s daily press conference, he said the city is moving in a “positive direction” to mitigate the effects of any additional flooding that could occur over the next few days.

“We have put every effort toward ensuring that we are as ready as we can be should the worst-case scenario occur.”

Braun said he is most worried about the potential overflowing of the Nooksack River in Washington State with more heavy rain in the forecast into next week.

He said in 1990, it took 16 hours for the floodwaters from the Nooksack to arrive at the U.S. and Canada border. In the most recent event, it took 13 hours.

RELATED: Abbotsford mayor says he believes Nooksack River issues ‘will get fixed’

“What’s different (now) is all of our drainage ditches, all of our culverts are 20 feet deep. Those ditches along Highway 1 … that’s all full of water,” he said.

Braun said the pump station is able to reduce the water levels by six to eight inches a day during dry weather.

Rainfall and runoff water from the Vedder and Sumas Mountain slow down the process.

Braun said it will likely be weeks before all the water will be pumped from the still-flooded eastern portion of Sumas Prairie.

As of Thursday, Braun said the work to bring the main dike at No. 3 Road to a height of 23 feet is 95 per cent complete.

The dike breach at Cole Road has been repaired, and work in the Atkinson Road area of the south dike is expected to be finished this weekend.

Braun said military personnel have completed sandbagging at Clayburn Village.

A total of 21 bridges, 93 kilometres of road and 378 culverts have been inspected.

Braun said more than 1,300 people have registered with the emergency support services centre at Tradex.

RELATED: Canadian military lends a hand in Abbotsford and Fraser Valley

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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