B.C. flood update: B.C. SPCA offers half-price adoptions to free up space for displaced pets | Another atmospheric river headed for B.C. | Flood evacuees eligible for $2,000 grant

A powerful rain storm has caused widespread flooding and mudslides in B.C., and another storm is on its way. Watch this file for live updates.

Article content

Barely two weeks after an atmospheric river hit southern B.C. Nov. 14-15, causing evacuations, widespread flooding and mudslides, another storm is set to hit the region. 

Advertisement

Article content

Watch this file for updates and follow along.


To recap our day-by-day flood coverage , read our live blogs that document flood updates and developments in chronological order.

You’re reading: Wednesday, Nov. 24 – present

Part 2: Wednesday, Nov. 17  Tuesday, Nov. 23

Part 1: Sunday, Nov. 14 – Tuesday, Nov. 16

For all our coverage on the Fraser Valley flooding and beyond, read our previous stories.


• For the latest road closures, check this DriveBC list .
• For the latest weather warnings, check this Environment Canada page .
• For the latest transit updates, follow TransLink on Twitter
• For the latest on power outages, check out B.C Hydro’s outages page .
• And follow the Twitter hashtag #bcstorm .


WEDNESDAY, NOV. 24

2 p.m. – Abbotsford to provide an update on the flooding situation

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun and emergency services staff are expected to hold a news conference to provide an update on the flooding situation in the Fraser Valley.

Advertisement

Article content

The news conference will be live streamed on the City of Abbotsford’s YouTube channel.

9:30 a.m. – B.C. SPCA offers half-price adoption to free up space for displaced animals

Dozens of animals displaced by flooding have been temporarily turned over to the care of the B.C. SPCA.

There are currently about 55 animals needing emergency boarding at SPCA facilities right now with more requests pouring in, said spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk on Wednesday.

The non-profit organization offers free temporary boarding for pets who have been displaced by natural disasters, including the ongoing floods that have hit parts of the Fraser Valley and B.C. Interior.

“We are offering boarding for as long as people need it,” said Chortyk. “They can come visit their pets anytime. People are just going through so much and we want to provide any support we can.”

Advertisement

Article content

Many of the animals are coming in to the SPCA’s Lower Mainland shelters from families affected by the Abbotsford flood and to the Kamloops shelter, which is serving evacuees from Merritt.

In order to free up space to house as many animals requiring temporary boarding, the SPCA is holding a half-price adoption promotion until Dec. 8.

The promotion applies to all animals across the province, with the exception of SPCA branches in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and 100 Mile House.

Adoption fees range from $10 to $300 depending on location and type of animals. The fees help offset the cost of care of the animals turned into the shelter. To adopt, visit the B.C. SPCA website .

The SPCA is also handing out free crates, pet food, leashes and other supplies through Emergency Support Services (ESS) centres. Anyone who needs support or animal rescue can call the SPCA call centre at 1-855-622-7722.

Advertisement

Article content

— Cheryl Chan

7 a.m. – Another storm to hit B.C., bringing more rain to flood-ravaged communities

British Columbia is bracing for more rain this week even as thousands of residents hard hit by last week’s storm remain out of their homes.

Environment Canada said another atmospheric river is expected to hit the B.C. south coast Wednesday night, dumping up to 80 millimetres of rain.

It has issued a rainfall warning for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Howe Sound, saying a new round of heavy rain is on the way.

“The next nine or 10 days could be quite challenging,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth at a news conference Tuesday, asking residents to pay close attention to the weather forecasts.

The rain is expected to arrive Wednesday night, with the heaviest precipitation falling on Thursday before easing later that night.

Advertisement

Article content

Some sections of Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound will get up to 80 mm of rain by Thursday night, while the Fraser Valley will see 50 to 70 mm by Friday morning.

Freezing levels will rise to above mountain tops on Thursday, which could trigger snowmelt and worsen recent flooding, said the weather agency.

This storm is not expected to be as intense as the atmospheric river on Nov. 13 to 15 that brought a heavy deluge that triggered landslides and flooding  and forced evacuations in the Fraser Valley and the Interior.

Environment Canada also warned of potential heavy snowfall on the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler.

Up to 15 cm of heavy wet snow could fall on the highway starting Wednesday night. That snow will turn to rain Thursday when freezing levels rise.

The weather agency said there are uncertainties around the precipitation amounts, and warned drivers to monitor forecasts at DriveBC and be prepared for potentially hazardous driving conditions on mountain roads.

Advertisement

Article content

— Cheryl Chan

6 a.m. – ‘It was devastating’: B.C. woman shares story of flood damage to family farm

Tiffany de Leeuw says her in-laws realized the gravity of the disaster facing their farm on the Sumas Prairie when a field flooded in 30 minutes.

She said her father-in-law and brother-in-law quickly set out with cattle trailers on the first day of the flooding to save animals boarding on the property while other relatives worked to build dikes to protect their third-generation farm.

But de Leeuw said her father-in-law admitted defeat in trying to save the farm via a text message a short while later.

“We turned the hydro off. We lost,” she said he wrote in the text.

The property is primarily used for feed storage, growing crops and raising livestock, with others renting parts of it to run their own businesses.

Advertisement

Article content

“It was devastating watching my family lose their homes and livelihoods and basically just stand there in shock like ‘What just hit us?”‘ de Leeuw said on Tuesday. “Last week was just horrible.”

The farm is one of hundreds damaged or destroyed by flooding last week in the low-lying Sumas Prairie region of Abbotsford. The area is home to much of B.C.’s agricultural production.

It was one of the hardest hit parts of the province by storms that dumped an unprecedented amount of rain, triggering evacuations and mudslides that cut off highways.

 — The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – Devastated by flood, a rural Abbotsford neighbourhood soldiers on

George Petersen is a big, strong guy. But the Fraser Valley flood has left him utterly exhausted.

Advertisement

Article content

For a week, he’s been cleaning up a massive mess left from flood waters that inundated his property on rural Arnold Road in Abbotsford.

It’s a 24-hour job — he’s been sleeping in his puffy grey jacket in his truck on his property.

“I’ve been standing on guard all night,” he said. “Every hour and 20 minutes, I’ve got to put gas in the pumps to keep the water out, and I sleep in my truck so no one loots us.”

Petersen has set up a giant pump that he’s paying for himself to try to drain the water in the neighbourhood before the next rainstorm.

“The city hasn’t been able to help us,” Petersen said Monday afternoon. “It’s all flooded out here, because it’s all backed up. The city hasn’t been out. They’ve tried but they can’t get (ditches) unplugged. So I went and got a big six-inch diesel pump, and it’s now pumping all of Arnold.

Advertisement

Article content

He shook his head. Standing on the grounds of a nearby church that has become an impromptu garbage dump, he answered questions stoically, as if he’s completely drained.

“We’ve got no help,” said Petersen, who owns an excavation and landscaping company. “You think they would drop (portable) toilets here and stuff. We don’t even have a washroom. Everybody’s struggling. I feel like the city’s really shit the bed here.”

His losses might be half a million dollars, maybe more.

Read more HERE .

— John Mackie

12 a.m. – Flood evacuees eligible for $2,000 grant

Close to $12 million in grants will be available to people forced out of their homes due to the unprecedented mid-November storm, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Tuesday.

Advertisement

Article content

The $2,000 a household would be available to occupants of 5,725 homes evacuated Nov. 14-16 — primarily in Merritt, Abbotsford and Princeton — after an atmospheric river dumped heavy across the province’s southwest.

The grant amount will not vary according to the size of an evacuated household.

When Farnworth announced a provincial state of emergency on Nov. 17, he said that 17,775 people had been evacuated, including the whole city of Merritt with 7,000 people.

As of Tuesday night, there are 3,792 homes still under evacuation order in the southwest B.C. region and 415 in the central region, that includes Lillooet.

In a statement, Red Cross Canada said the money would come half from the provincial government and half from people who donated to the organization’s B.C. flooding and extreme weather appeal.

Advertisement

Article content

The grant will not affect other supports through the provincial Emergency Support Services program. That program is funded through Emergency Management B.C. and provides short-term help to people hit by disaster.

Farnworth said that money would also be made available for students at Nicola Valley Institute and the University of the Fraser Valley affected by floods, through a separate program.

— David Carrigg

12 a.m. – Refinery that supplies estimated one-third of Lower Mainland gas runs out of crude oil

A refinery that supplies an estimated one-third of the gas to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island said Tuesday it has stopped processing operations because it had run out of crude oil due to the Trans Mountain pipeline shutdown after last week’s catastrophic flooding.

Advertisement

Article content

Calgary-based Parkland Corp.’s Burnaby refinery is now in “standby mode,” so that it can resume processing quickly once new shipments of crude arrive via the pipeline or rail.

“Parkland maintains some crude-oil storage on-site, so up until today, it has been able to continue operations,” said Kent Fellows, a professor at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

He said there is storage of crude oil as well as gasoline and diesel in the Lower Mainland that can be relied upon in the short run, but he hasn’t been able to find data on how much storage there is or how full it was before the flooding.

Three of the main ways gas is supplied to the Lower Mainland and elsewhere in B.C. were disrupted by the flooding.

Advertisement

Article content

“Trans Mountain would also normally be shipping about 27,000 barrels per day of gasoline and diesel from refineries near Edmonton to the Lower Mainland in B.C.,” said Fellows.

U.S. imports are still running, but they usually only account for 12 per cent of the total gas supply, an estimate Fellows based on his analysis of information from a recent B.C. Utilities Commission report. It’s a much smaller base amount even as there are reports of barges with gasoline heading to B.C. from the U.S.

Read more HERE .

— Joanne Lee-Young

12 a.m. – Ottawa clarifies COVID-19 travel exemption on B.C.-U.S. border during floods

The federal minister of emergency preparedness says border guards have been advised that British Columbia residents can cross into the United States for essential supplies because of flooding in the province after some were reportedly facing fines or told they would have to quarantine on returning to Canada.

Advertisement

Article content

Bill Blair said Tuesday the circumstances of those who received tickets for allegedly violating quarantine restrictions is also being reviewed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Ottawa approved an exemption from the B.C. government for travellers from specific areas along its south coast to travel to the U.S. to purchase gas or essential supplies and immediately return to Canada without providing a negative PCR test for the virus that causes COVID-19.

A statement from the Canada Border Services Agency says there can be a transition period that “may lead to some inconsistencies” when operational guidelines are changed.

Denis Vinette, vice-president of the travellers branch and COVID task force at the agency, said “a couple dozen” individuals were fined during a 24-hour period, although he did not have an exact number.

Advertisement

Article content

Vinette confirmed individuals crossing the border for essentials are no longer being referred for a fine.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement Tuesday that they reviewed 30 tickets that had been issued in the region over a 24-hour period and have rescinded 16 of them, saying 14 were duly issued Monday.

“PHAC continues to review all tickets issued since the beginning of the emergency situation in B.C. to ensure that PHAC officers used their full discretion when deciding the best instrument to enforce the Quarantine Act,” the statement said.

The agency said travellers who received a ticket but believe their circumstances warranted the use of an emergency exemption are advised to contest it.

Click here for B.C. flood updates from before Tuesday, Nov. 23.

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.