Thursday, December 01, 2022

Latest on B.C. floods: Premier urges residents to ‘do the right thing’ and not hoard groceries

British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan announced a provincial emergency has been declared due to floods that have displaced people from their homes and disrupted transport routes.

“The order will maintain basic access to services and supplies for communities throughout the province,” he said during a news conference on Wednesday.

Horgan also urged residents not to hoard food as some grocery store shelves were already running bare.

“Do the right thing,” he said. “Listen to what your mom told you when you were little. Do to others as you would to yourself. Respect the fact that you don’t need 48 eggs, a dozen will do, and the rest to someone. Leave for more.”

more deaths expected

Floods across the province have claimed at least one life so far, and the province is expected to report further deaths as the recovery process is underway.

“Sadly, we expect more deaths to be confirmed in the coming days,” Horgan said.

On Tuesday, the BC RCMP issued a statement saying that the body of a woman had been recovered from the scene of a landslide on Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lilleut.

Police did not reveal the identity of the woman, but said she was from the lower mainland.

farm animals perish

According to the province’s Agriculture Minister Lana Popham, thousands of farm animals have died as a result of the floods, and thousands will be in “serious need of food” over the next few days.

“This is a very difficult time for agriculture in BC and our producers,” she said during Wednesday’s news conference.

“Over the past two days, I’ve been able to FaceTime discussions with farmers, and some of them are in their barns, and some of their barns are flooded, and you can see the animals that have died,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Popham also promised a disaster relief fund for farmers affected by the floods and said B.C. is working with the federal government, other provinces and private businesses to secure resources, including food and medical care for any live animals. .

Beach barges won’t be moved until the weekend

A runaway barge that ran around Sunset Beach in Vancouver after being freed from its moorings during a storm will not be relocated until Sunday at the earliest.

The owner of the barge told CTV News that the ship was anchored and safe when the historic storm struck. He also said the challenge of moving it again is that the tide rose to about 14.8 feet when the barge was frozen, and is not expected to come close to that height again until the weekend.

An attempt to pull the barge off the beach on Tuesday was unsuccessful.

The ship sank on the beach about a kilometer from the Burrard Street Bridge, forcing city officials to temporarily close the bustling bridge.

Patient, long-term care resident gone

Dozens of health care patients and residents of long-term care homes have been moved away from the flooded areas, according to the province’s health minister, Adrian Dix.

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About 200 people were transferred from facilities in Merritt and Princeton, both of which were subject to evacuation orders.

“Everything they’ve done to keep people safe over the past few days is for emergency workers, health care workers, health authority staff, B.C. Emergency Health Services and the ministry,” Dix said during a COVID-19 briefing. My deepest gratitude to the employees.” Tuesday

“This includes significant efforts to help patients and long-term care residents move safely and stay out of flood zones.”

Dam built in Abbotsford but situation still ‘serious’

Late Tuesday, Abbotsford city officials issued an urgent plea for anyone in Sumas Prairie to evacuate immediately after floodwaters threatened the Barrowtown pump station.

Officials said the situation in the Sumas Prairie area had “aggravated” and the pump station’s “imminent failure posed significant risk to life”.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said 184 people had been evacuated from the area overnight, adding that efforts were on.

According to Braun, while the situation “remains critical,” the crew and volunteers were able to build the dam overnight to protect the pump station.

“The Fraser River has fallen two meters in the last 24 hours,” he said. “It needs to drop another meter before the floodgates can open at Barrowtown, which will allow for seven times more volume than the four pumps that are operating at full tilt.”

He said he would be able to reduce the pressure at the Barrowtown pump station if that happens the next day.

military personnel will be deployed

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Canada’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair confirmed that a group of 300 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel would be deployed to help in B.C.

Blair said CAF members would assist with evacuation efforts, support supply chain routes and support B.C. will help protect residents in

Blair said he spoke to the province’s Minister of Public Safety, Mike Farnsworth, “to let them know that we stand with the British Columbians during this extremely difficult time and are working hard to provide them with assistance as quickly as possible.” working hard.”

Merit clearance order is in progress

In an update posted Wednesday morning, Merit city officials said the evacuation order issued on Monday remains in place.

“City workers are focused on restoring critical services, including potable water, wastewater treatment and bridge access,” the statement said.

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Greg Lowis, an emergency operations center information officer, said engineers will inspect those systems in the city on Wednesday to determine “what work needs to be done to get them back online.”

“We know that there are some people who have chosen to remain on merit, and are troubled by the lack of services,” he said in the release. “Unfortunately, when those people chose to live in a city that was under evacuation order, they ended up living here with no drinking water, no waste water, and parts of the city without fire or ambulance response. Chosen.”

Lovis said the city has “no capacity” to provide services to those chosen to remain in the community at this time.

Stranded drivers rescued

Kent District Mayor Sylvia Pranger told CTV’s Your Morning that about 300 motorists stranded along highways in the town of Agassiz were rescued by landslides.

Of those people, Pranger said some people have yet to find a hotel or billet to stay.

According to Pranger, officials do not know how many people are unaccounted for. He said officials are now making recovery efforts in the area.

Pranger said the community is “doing very well,” all things considered.

highway closed

In an advisory issued early Wednesday, BC Transportation issued a travel advisory saying that a lane of Highway 7 west of Agassiz has been reopened to emergency vehicles only.

The agency asked the public to stay away from the area while restoration work on the highway is underway.

Several other roads remained closed across the province, including parts of Highways 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11 and 99.

recovery efforts continue

Jim Mandeville is Senior Project Manager for Large Loss North America. That bc. helping coordinate recovery teams on the ground in

He told CTV’s Your Morning on Wednesday that the crew is pre-positioning resources to help facilitate cleanup because the water is “expected to subside soon.”

First and foremost, the teams will work on restoring vital businesses, Mandeville said.

“I mean, communities need to be able to buy food, they need to be able to buy gas, they need to be able to take money out of the bank and they need to have access to health care and vital life services. ,” he explained. “Without those things, people cannot go back to their homes, no matter what state they are in.”

Mandeville urged the people to follow the advice and guidance of the authorities.

“My advice is always listen to the authorities when they say go-go,” he said. “You’re not only putting yourself in danger, you’re risking the lives of the first responders who are going to come and get you out there.”

With files from CTV News center Mangione, Andrew Weichel and Alice Kotick and The Canadian Press

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