Fresh flooding prompts new evacuations in Abbotsford, B.C., as water spills in from Wash. state
The Nooksack River in Washington state has overtopped its dike, and the City of Abbotsford is expecting floodwaters to cross the U.S. border, Mayor Henry Braun said Sunday afternoon.
As of 4 p.m. along Boundary Road, waters were already pouring out of Whatcom County fields and onto the Canadian side of border. By 5:30 p.m., the Nooksack had entered minor flood stage, according to the U.S. National Weather Service, but hadn’t yet peaked.
Hundreds of farms and homes sit within a couple kilometres of the line, including the Dykman Cattle Company, where Cynthia Dykman told CTV News late Sunday there were a lot of frayed nerves.
Her husband, Ted, said he was once again preparing to move their 300 calves to higher ground.
The mayor said the city is expecting flooding on Sunday to be less significant than the floods that inundated the Sumas Prairie last week.
However, the city remains "extremely concerned" about the continued risk of flooding as more rain falls on Sunday and more is forecast for the coming week, Braun said.
"The land is super saturated," he said. "None of that water (from the Nooksack) is going into the ground. That's coming straight over like a surfer on top of the water that's there. It'll come here a lot faster than in the previous event."
Dykman, who has experienced three Nooksack floods in 20 years, said it typically takes about four hours for floodwaters to travel the 10 kilometres from Everton, Wash., to their farm.
She said she’s watching the storm drain at the foot of their driveway for a warning sign the waters are coming up.
Meanwhile, Shawn Hystek, who also lives on the southwestern edge of Sumas Prairie, said he was heartened to see the military out running dump trucks, adding gravel to raise dikes and stacking sandbags in low-lying spots along roads.
And he added that no matter what happens overnight, or how high the water goes, the community will pull through together.
“After the first one that we just went through here, (we saw) how strong the community is and people coming together and people helping each other,” Hystek said.
On Sunday evening, a mudslide prompted evacuation orders and alerts near Sumas Mountain.
Units 12 through 18 at 2842 Whatcom Rd. were ordered to evacuate, and several properties on nearby Sandringham Drive were put on evacuation alert, according to Abbotsford police.
Earlier in the day, heavy rain and snowmelt crossing the border from the U.S. triggered fresh flooding in Abbotsford and prompted a new evacuation order for the city's Huntingdon Village area.
The floodwaters could pose "immediate danger to life safety," warns the order, which affects the area of Huntingdon Village bordered by Sumas Way on the west, A Street and 2nd Avenue on the east, Farmer Road on the North, and the U.S. border on the south.
"You must leave the area immediately," the order reads. "Gather your family and, if you have room, take a neighbour or someone needing transportation. Do not use more vehicles than you have to."
Evacuees have been told to register at the Emergency Support Services reception centre set up at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre on McMillan Road.
The city instructed residents to close their doors and windows, gather critical items such as medicine and keys, and shut off their gas and electrical appliances, except for refrigerators and freezers.
Gates should be latched but left unlocked, officials said.
Authorities were already reporting flooding in the Huntingdon Village by mid-morning. While the Nooksack River in Washington state had yet to overflow its banks at that time, the Abbotsford Police Department said flooding in the U.S. community of Sumas "is flowing north."
The severity of the flooding from the Nooksack remains to be seen, Braun said Sunday, adding that he's confident Abbotsford has done everything it could to prepare for the arrival of more floodwaters.
"We are as ready as we can be," he said. "Now we have to wait to see what happens."
When the Nooksack floods, some of the floodwaters typically get captured by the Sumas River watershed, which flows north into the Fraser River through the Sumas Prairie, rather than directly to the ocean via the Nooksack's own watershed.
Floodwaters from the Nooksack, along with the failure of a dike along the Sumas, were the primary reason for the flooding on Sumas Prairie after the historic rainstorm that hit B.C. earlier this month.
Drivers have also been urged to use caution if they leave home.
"We have had significant rainfall with more rain forecasted. Water is pooling on several roads," Abbotsford police said on Twitter Sunday morning. "Today would be a great day to stay home and catch up on (the TV series) Yellowstone or some laundry."
About 180 soldiers spent Saturday erecting a sandbag wall approximately 500 metres long next to the railway track in an effort to divert water away from Huntingdon Village.
Asked Sunday whether the city regretted not building a larger barrier of sandbags in hopes of stopping the Nooksack, Braun said that's not the purpose of the sandbagging efforts.
"If we wanted to try to stop the Nooksack, I'm not even sure we could do that," he said. "You'd have to build a dike 18 feet tall. That's what it would take. And all that would happen is the water would flood somebody else out."
Residents were also bracing for floodwaters, picking up sandbags in the hopes of protecting their own property and livestock.
Braun previously noted the atmospheric river that arrived Saturday was forecast to deliver up to 120 millimetres of rain to his community by Sunday morning.
Vancouver Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The remainder of the convoy of truckers and other activists opposed to the cross-border mandates is set to roll into Ottawa on Saturday in time for a rally on Parliament Hill.
Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canada remains open to enhancing military aid to Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia, a message she will convey to her Ukrainian counterparts during an upcoming trip to the country.
Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is removing her library of music from Spotify in solidarity with fellow artist Neil Young, citing 'irresponsible people' sharing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on the streaming platform.
As the convoy of truckers and their supporters descends on Ottawa for what's set to be a weekend of protests and potentially prolonged gridlock, what is the group looking to accomplish?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's concerned about the potential for violence during this weekend's planned protest on Parliament Hill by truckers and others joining the crowd to vent their anger about public health restrictions to combat COVID-19.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the West to cool the rhetoric, saying that it's putting his country's economy at risk, even as Russian warships carried out target practice in the Black Sea.
Latvia is crossing its fingers that it is up next after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week that Canada is extending and expanding its military mission in Ukraine in response to concerns about Russia.
The cold winter in Manitoba means that ice fishing is typically a hobby only for the hardy. But entrepreneurs are offering ways to take the freeze out of ice fishing with off-grid cabins and trailers that allow guests to take up the sport in comfort and style.
Nova Scotia has enacted a new order that bans highway border blockades.
The number of people requiring hospital care for COVID-19 on Vancouver Island rose over the past 24 hours, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
The founder of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery is being accused of branding his whisky as too Scottish by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
British Columbia's top doctor says some COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings are expected to be gradually lifted by Feb. 21.
Three times a week, Rick Corby hits the ice at the Huntington Hills Community Centre.
A number of Alberta physicians say Premier Jason Kenney's comments on Thursday about the provincial hospitalization situation doesn't accurately represent what's happening in ERs.
The garden centre at a Lowe's store in northwest Calgary has a long-time visitor, but it's not a customer. It's a raven and it has been there for weeks.
Thursday’s report of 1,469 COVID-19 patients in hospital was revised to a pandemic-high 1,532 on Friday. The 11 highest patient counts have all come in the last 11 days.
Alberta is seeing a jump in long-term care home (LTHC) outbreaks as the province prepares to loosen rules brought in to stop the spread of COVID-19 between facilities.
More than 400 people have contracted COVID-19 at the Edmonton Remand Centre, marking the worst pandemic outbreak for the correctional facility.
Ontario health officials say they've detected at least 15 cases of the COVID-19 Omicron subvariant BA.2 in the province.
An 84-year-old man is dead after being struck by the driver of a vehicle in Etobicoke Friday afternoon.
The former dean of medicine at McGill University says Canadians should not forget about the shortage of vaccines the country faced during a very difficult moment in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quebec now says that those who's contracted and recovered from COVID-19 should wait two months before getting a booster shot.
A ceremony will be held today to mark the fifth anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting that left six men dead and five others seriously wounded.
Quebec truckers who disagree with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination mandate gathered at several Canada-U.S. border crossings ahead of joining the so-called "Freedom Convoy" to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
The Metis National Council has filed a lawsuit against its former president and the Manitoba Metis Federation alleging financial irregularities and questionable contracts.
A group of Winnipeggers have been spending time harvesting ice on the Red River – a tradition that has largely been lost with time, but one this group is trying to bring back.
A relative of a family that froze to death in southern Manitoba while trying to cross the United States border says it's expected the bodies will not be flown home to India for a funeral.
Last Friday, Penny Fentiman was surprised by raw sewage flooding her basement due to a sewer blockage.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority expects an overwhelming acute care surge due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
A custom built muscle car sold to the highest bidder at the Barret-Jackson collector car auction this afternoon with proceeds going to STARS.
School divisions in Saskatchewan are adjusting their practices for communicating COVID-19 cases in the classroom following directive from the provincial government.
The Government of Saskatchewan reported 1,392 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, along with two more deaths.
A convoy scheduled to make its way through Regina on Saturday is expected to cause delays, according to police.
New Brunswick health officials are reporting four additional deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday.
Nova Scotia reported one new death related to COVID-19 on Friday. The man in his 60s lived in the province's Western Zone.
Weather conditions will deteriorate quickly in the Maritimes Saturday morning and afternoon.
London police have laid charges in connection with a crash on Riverside Drive that left an eight-year-old girl dead.
Starting Monday, London, Ont. can once again access city pools, arenas and community centres as provincial COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Prices across the City of London have broken the $1.50 per litre barrier and many don't expect to see any relief for some time.
There's a new food delivery service taking off in Sudbury that was designed to help support local, independent eateries. It's the brainchild of three restaurants and they've expanded their service to nine, with more to come.
Officials in Timmins say the city's main landfill site is filling up and they're studying the possibility of launching a city-wide composting program.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Board has a new budget and a new chair.
A Kitchener, Ont., man who was on the run and in hiding from the Taliban in Afghanistan has returned to Canada.
Crews with Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro are working to restore power to a Kitchener neighbourhood.
A Kitchener lab that processes COVID-19 tests was ordered to stop selling them to long-term care and retirement homes by the Ministry of Labour.