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UPDATE: City of Abbotsford declares state of local emergency

Flooding and mudslides continue to impact city amid torrential rainstorm
A portion of Highway 11 in Abbotsford is closed on Monday (Nov. 15) due to damage caused by flooding. (PHOTO: Abbotsford Police Department)

The City of Abbotsford has declared a state of local emergency following extreme rainfall that has resulted in several “localized emergencies.”

The city issued a statement Monday morning (Nov. 15), just before noon, saying that several small mudslides and localized flooding have occured in many areas of the city.

The state of emergency will remain in effect for seven days – until Nov. 23 at midnight – unless cancelled before then.

“Declaring a state of local emergency allows the City of Abbotsford to provide enhanced support to manage the emergency,” the city states.

“This is essential in order to help protect the health, safety and welfare of people in Abbotsford and their property.”

During a press conference Monday morning, Mayor Henry Braun said that ensuring the safety of Abbotsford residents and infrastructure is the “number one priority.”

‘This is a serious event. I’ve lived here for 68 years and I’ve not seen this kind of rainfall in 68 years so we are very concerned about the safety of our residents and their properties,” he said.

“A wind event is a concern for me. The ground is saturated and we have a lot of big trees here and so I am concerned about that.”

The city also issued a second evacuation order on Monday afternoon, after issuing one in the morning for the Straiton area.

The new order is for Sumas Prairie: Sumas Mountain and Yale Road to the north, the U.S border to the south, the Sumas River dike to the east, and Sumas Way to the west.

The order for the Straiton area is in effect for units eight to 12 at 35259 Straiton Rd.

PHOTOS: Abbotsford hit hard by flooding after heavy rainfall

Meanwhile, evacuation alerts continue to be in place for the following areas:

• Clayburn area: Clayburn Village and surrounding area

• Eagle Mountain areas: Cranberry Court, Briarwood Place, Doneagle Place

• Ten Oaks: Mount Blanchard Court, Mount Blanchard Drive and Old Clayburn Road

• Sumas Prairie: west side of Whatcom Road, east of Huntingdon Village, south side of Vye Road

• Straiton areas: Dawson Road east of Sumas Mountain Road

• Matsqui Village: Grace Road north to the Matsqui Slough

RELATED: City of Abbotsford activates emergency operations centre due to flooding, mudslides

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has indicated that several road closures are in effect. This includes Highway 11 (the Abbotsford-Mission Highway) between Old Clayburn Road and McCallum Road. Detours are in effect in the area.

All public schools in the city remain open, but Mennonite Educational Institute and St. John Brebeuf have closed for the day.

Abbotsford residents requiring sandbags can go to the City of Abbotsford works yard at 31739 King Rd. Sandbags are located outside the main gates.

As well, a reception centre has been set up at Abbotsford Recreation Centre (2499 McMillan Rd.) for anyone displaced from their homes.

Residents are encouraged to monitor the city’s and APD’s social media channels for updates throughout the day.

RELATED: Abbotsford public schools remaining open in face of heavy rainfall

Abbotsford fire chief Darren Lee speaks to the media during today’s (Nov. 15) press conference which saw Mayor Henry Braun declare a state of local emergency. / Anne Williams Photo

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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