45 Edmonton soldiers off to B.C. to aid in flood repairs

·1 min read
Vehicles get ready to leave Edmonton on Saturday. Some soliders will be bussed there as well.  (Scott Neufeld/CBC - image credit)
Vehicles get ready to leave Edmonton on Saturday. Some soliders will be bussed there as well. (Scott Neufeld/CBC - image credit)

Approximately 45 troops and 20 vehicles are off from Edmonton to B.C. to support relief duties in that province, which has seen devastation from recent floods and landslides.

The personnel are sourced from Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), according to a military spokesperson.

"We're staging out of Vernon. The eventuality will be a push into the B.C. interior to help with flood mitigation and flood response," Maj. Mike Selberg said in an interview Saturday.

"Being ready to serve and help Canadians is part of what we do ... Helping Canadians, it is the key task of the Canadian military."

Selberg and the crew will join a team of 120 soldiers already on the ground. In Abbotsford, military personnel are currently fixing a dike.

"We're quite honoured to go back and help British Columbians in their time of need," Maj. Selberg said.

Ben Nelms/CBC
Ben Nelms/CBC

Soldiers are being deployed as part of Operation LENTUS, the armed forces' natural disaster response, including a local.

"I'm very proud to be able to go back to my home province of British Columbia and help," Master Cpl. Stephanie Gavriel said.

Provincial officials in B.C. have imposed limits on buying gas and travelling on B.C.'s damaged highways amid the disaster and Transport Canada has banned non-essential boat travel in the flooded areas of the province.

According to B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham, 200 square kilometres of farmland has flooded so far across southern B.C., and 959 farms were on evacuation order as of Friday evening.

More than 14,000 residents of B.C. remain on evacuation order following the flooding and landslides of the last week.

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