The latest news on mudslides and flooding in British Columbia for Nov. 16, 2021

·3 min read

The latest news on mudslides and flooding in British Columbia (all times Eastern):

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11:04 a.m.

Residents of 1,100 homes in Abbotsford, B.C., east of Vancouver, have been ordered to get out as waterways in the Sumas Prairie region have started to rise quickly.

An evacuation order was issued this morning for the mainly rural properties just north of the U-S border.

Police say they understand many of the affected properties are dairy farms or house other livestock, but they say the situation is changing rapidly and residents must leave now.

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10:20 a.m.

Wind and rain warnings have been lifted across B.C. as a fierce storm moves on after bringing slides, flooding and washouts to large parts of the province.

The high winds that followed the heavy rain are blamed for bringing down trees and electrical wires in areas where BC Hydro crews were already having trouble reaching outages caused by slides or high water.

Hydro crews have made good progress restoring power in many areas but nearly 20,000 customers from Vancouver Island to the Kootenay region are still in the dark and crews have not yet been assigned to several hard-hit areas, including Chilliwack and Hope.

The wind also tore a barge from its moorings in Vancouver's English Bay and pushed it high onto the rocks at Sunset Beach, forcing the city to close the nearby Burrard Bridge until further notice in case the vessel refloats and drifts into the busy span.

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9:44 a.m.

A new evacuation order has been issued for a section of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.

A social media message from Abbotsford police says all residents living on the Sumas Prairie to the Chilliwack boundary must leave immediately.

Water levels in the area are rising very quickly.

The social media message says anyone who can't escape westbound should travel east to Chilliwack and shelter at Chilliwack Secondary School.

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9:30 a.m.

Environment Canada says 20 rainfall records were set Sunday as an atmospheric river rolled across southern British Columbia.

The eastern Fraser Valley was one of the hardest hit areas and the weather office says Hope, Abbotsford and Agassiz (AG'-uh-see) all received at least 100 millimetres of rain on Nov. 14.

Hope's record of 174 millimetres was the highest for the day, while the 127.3 millimetres that fell in Agassiz broke a record set in 1896.

Environment Canada says between 11 a.m. Saturday and 11 p.m. Monday, 24 communities across the province received more than 100 millimetres of rain, with Agassiz, Chilliwack, the Coquihalla summit and Squamish topping 200 millimetres and Hope receiving the most of all at 252 millimetres.

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9:20 a.m.

Rescue crews will focus today on two British Columbia highways where vehicles may have been swept away by mudslides during torrential rain that began Saturday.

Witnesses reported seeing vehicles hit by mud west of Vancouver on Highway 7 near Agassiz (AG'-uh-see) on Sunday.

Drivers stopped by a slide on Highway 99 between Lillooet (LIL'-oh-weht) and Pemberton yesterday also report vehicles were engulfed when a second slide occurred about 40 kilometres south of Lillooet.

There have been no reports of fatalities or missing people.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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