'Uncharted territory' of superstorms announced with little talk of climate change


British Columbia is still in the “undeveloped region” with several hurricanes planning to sweep areas already in the region. is struggling to recover from the flood, Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth he said Wednesday.

Wind and rain warnings covered most parts of the BC coast and come in the aftermath of a series of so-called atmospheric rivers that have flooded the region since September.

Farnworth said even regular rainfall can cause swollen rivers already to reach dangerous areas and urged people to be prepared for the outcome and see changes.

“These hurricanes are coming at a time when we are already struggling with the devastating climate we have ever seen,” Farnworth said.

“Even though we are struggling with this problem, we are doing a great job.”

The government has been making progress since last week’s floods, he added, with the stabilization of the economy, the shortage of gas is starting to decline and some refugees are being allowed to return home.

The highway for delivering Highway 1 via Fraser Valley is on track to reopen on Thursday, while Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. announced that the first ships arrived in Vancouver from Kamloops on Wednesday carrying grain and oil.

However, the government also acknowledged that it had heard concerns from Indians about the lack of communication in the event of a catastrophic flood, a lack of information on emergency response and difficult access to emergency services.

“I understand we have a lot of work to do,” Minister of Culture Murray Rankin said on Tuesday in a statement to First Nations officials.

Transport Minister Rob Fleming said the government was planning to close some of the roads as a precautionary measure as models try to predict when and why floods and landslides will occur.

“Some of the most devastating weather we’ve ever seen …”

Wind and rain warnings come as the number of people confirmed dead or missing in the floods rose to six, with RCMP reports that police are investigating a report of a missing woman who was unable to leave home before Highway 8 collapsed. last week. Four bodies have been found in mudslides on Highway 99 near Lillooet and one man is still missing.

The region’s water management authority said several rivers will flood BC, raining up to 70 mm in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, by Thursday and beyond Vancouver’s North Shore mountains.

Reports from the River Forecast Center say another storm is coming on Saturday and “more storms are expected early next week,” although heavy rainfall and the risk of rain are still unknown.

The site provided navigation advice along the coast of BC and was keeping a warning of flooding of the Sumas and Sumas Prairie rivers around Abbotsford. It said rivers are expected to rise on Thursday with major floods expected around the Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound and North Shore corridor.

The rivers in Fraser Valley can rise as high as a hurricane, but they can also be “extremely difficult due to floods and reconstruction and infrastructure damage in the region,” it said.

BC Hydro warned of power outages and said teams were pumping water from some dams, which were already full, in anticipation of heavy rains.

More than 258,000 people lost their strength during a typhoon last week.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said the first trains arrived in Vancouver from Kamloops on Wednesday after working on the line Tuesday.

Thirty areas across the CP areas of Thompson and Cascade were destroyed, 20 of them severely. Hundreds of workers and contractors have been working “day and night” to restore the railways, the company said.

“This approach is a very busy CP approach for multitasking and integration. It connects the Port of Vancouver with BC in Canada and North America as a whole,” the statement said.

Farnworth said Tuesday that more than 6,500 people had registered as refugees and those whose homes were flooded last week should receive $ 2,000 in aid through the Canada Red Cross and the state.

On Wednesday, he added a new contact line has been set up to provide emergency assistance and information on finances, road conditions and much more.

Locals also battled the storm, and areas like View Royal set up a sand dune park nearby.

In Abbotsford, where floods destroyed farmland and killed livestock, the mayor said officials were doing everything they could to prepare.

Repairing a major dike break was about 90 percent, Mayor Henry Braun said Wednesday, and that about a meter long was about to be added before the storm began Thursday.

The city has issued a water restriction order to the Sumas Prairie due to unforeseen flooding and potentially toxic substances in the floodwaters.

Although repairing the dike was necessary to shut off drainage, work was still being done to pump out the remaining water and complete safety tests before allowing access to the area, Braun said.

His focus right now is on the upcoming storm, he said.

“We’re ready for how we can be,” Braun said.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2021.


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