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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
River rising at Terrace, BC

pictures from random people i dont know hahaha well my mom knows em but what ever

Squamish, Prince George, and Mt. Currie have declared a state of emergency. And this is only the beginning of the beginning of what everyone says could be the flood of the century in British Columbia. Two people are believed to be dead already.

Throughout the province, snow packs are 70-80% higher than normal. In addition, it is melting rapidly with hot temperatures throughout BC last week and heavy rain this week.

Lower Mainland on alert

By Catherine Rolfsen and Linda Nguyen, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Residents in areas across the Lower Mainland have received evacuation alerts warning them to pack up their valuables and be ready to leave their houses as the rising Fraser River threatens to flood their properties.

Officials in Langley issued an evacuation alert at 1:30 p.m. for 1,000 residents and businesses in the Glen Valley and northwest areas of the city.

The alert was issued in conjunction with Abbotsford where officials notified about 30 residences on an undiked area of Glen Valley this afternoon to "be ready, this [flooding] could happen at any moment."

Jay Teichroeb, public information officer for the Abbotsford emergency operations centre, said emergency officials went door-to-door telling people their property is at risk and to be ready to leave at short notice.

Teichroeb said an evacuation order will likely be issued when the Fraser River hits 6.7 metres, but could come sooner. The Fraser measured 5.295 metres at Mission this morning.

Officials in Abbotsford were also keeping a close eye on the Matsqui Prarie, a 4,400 hectare area with plenty of poultry and dairy farms. An evacuation alert in the area would be issued at 7.5 metres, Teichroeb said, adding he expects the river could reach that level by the weekend.

Four Matsqui Prarie properties outside the dike have already been contacted and put on evacuation alert, Teichroeb said.

Forty households in Maple Ridge have also been told to start packing. Residents living on the south side of Wharf Street were giving an evacuation alert at dinnertime Monday night. Wharf Street also functions as a dike, meaning the street and neighbours across the road should be unaffected by flooding.

John Leeburn, executive director to Maple Ridge's chief administrative officer, said crews are monitoring the river. He said all residents have emergency shelter secured, many with friends and family.

Other hot spots in Maple Ridge that are being watched closely are Ruskin, an isolated industrial area on the east end of Maple Ridge, and the spot where the Kanaka creek runs into the Fraser, which includes a few townhouse complexes, Leeburn said.

At 3 p.m. today, the city of Chilliwack issued their own evacuation alert for all residents living in undiked areas.

Currently, staff are stockpiling sandbags, rock and pea gravel at strategic locations adjacent to the dikes in both east and west Chilliwack in case of water seepage. Daily patrols will continue along the dikes and may be upgraded to a 24-hour watch if the river levels continue to rise.

Commuters are also facing potential inconveniences as the river rises.

The Albion ferry was no longer carrying heavy trucks today over the Fraser. TransLink announced earlier in the day that vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 5,500 kilograms or more wouldn't be permitted to board the commuter ferry and would have to drive for about one hour between terminals in Langley and Maple Ridge.

Passage will be restricted to cars and passengers when water levels reach 6.7 metres at the Mission gauge station, said ferry officials. At 6.8 metres, no vehicles will be allowed, although foot passengers may still be permitted.

Further disruption is possible as the West Coast Express could see sections of its track under water. The train's equipment may be relocated to Maple Ridge or Port Coquitlam, with bus service connecting stations further east where possible.

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© Vancouver Sun 2007

Flooding halts Via, CN trains
By Gillian Shaw, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Flooding has put a halt to trains running between Prince George and Prince Rupert, blocking CN's freight rail traffic to the coastal shipping terminal and interrupting Via Rail passenger service.

With waters still rising, rail officials have no estimate on when service will return to the northern route.

"From what we are hearing, conditions are deteriorating quite rapidly and they are still expecting a significant amount of water to come yet," said Catherine Kaloutsky, communications officer for Via Rail.

"We have no idea how long it will take for water to make its way down and past that area. It's going to take several days before we see the end of the flooding."

While passenger trains travel the route only three times a week, it is the sole rail access to the shipping terminals at Prince Rupert and is used by as many as eight freight trains a day.

"CN has been aware for some time of the flood possibilities along its corridor due to the snowpack this year," CN representative Kelli Svendsen said Tuesday. "Currently, the heavy spring runoff and rainfall have affected sections of the CN line between Smithers and Prince Rupert so we closed the line last night as a precaution."

Greg Slocombe, president and chief operating officer of Ridley Terminals in Prince Rupert, said, "The only access we have between here and Prince George is rail. This is a rail terminal only so this stops our operations entirely."

"On the receiving end, it grinds to a halt."

Slocombe said ships will still be loaded with cargo already in the yard but once that runs out, there could be delays, with ships sitting at anchor awaiting the rail shipments.

"We've got a ship coming in tomorrow and we have a cargo for that," he said. "We have another one coming in on the 14th and whether we have sufficient cargo for that, I'm not positive."

"I can see right now the possibility of one ship being impacted," he said. "If this persisted for a couple of weeks, it changes the entire scenario, but for a few days it probably won't impact us in a big way."

Slocombe said with the uncertainly surrounding the flood conditions, the situation could worsen.

"What could become very critical is if the line washed out between Prince George and here in a couple of locations, that would be very serious because you don't make those repairs overnight," he said. "It is not critical now, but it could become critical very easily."

Kaloutsky said the first passenger train to be affected on the route, which runs passengers between Jasper and Prince Rupert three times a week, is scheduled to operate Wednesday from Jasper to Prince Rupert.

Trains from Jasper will end their runs at Prince George and Kaloutsky said the flooding has made it impossible to arrange alternative transportation to the coast for the rail passengers.

"As a result of flood levels and road conditions we are not able to have service and not able to get alternative transportation," she said. "From my understanding with the infrastructure roads, they don't know how long they will be passable."

Kaloutsky said she doesn't know how many passengers will be affected by the interruption, but she said those not able to take trips as planned to or from Prince Rupert will be able to reschedule their trips or get a refund.

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© Vancouver Sun 2007

7,931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This forum confuses me. This is a BC matter.... how do we know when things that are local should be posted in a National forum? When it affects Canada?
Any matter that is significant.....about 800,000 people, a little less than a quarter of the provincial population, is in danger of being flooded.

7,931 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Waters rising to 200-year-level

Thursday, June 07, 2007

TELKWA, B.C. (CP) - A forest fire crew battled rising flood waters rather than flames Thursday as northern British Columbians fought feverishly to hold back rising flood waters near Smithers.

The crew filled sandbags in a hurried effort to construct a dike high enough to keep out a 200-year record level of the Bulkley River.

The river hadn't spilled over that much Thursday, but crew chief Kathryn Sikkes said they need to be prepared.

As the firefighters worked, rescue workers wearing lifejackets were on standby in case one of them fell into the raging water.

Jim Whyte, director of operations at PEP - the provincial emergency program - said residents living in 120 homes in the northwest region of the province have been evacuated.

"They're going to be out of their homes for probably seven to 10 days minimum," Whyte said.

"The water's still roaring through there. It's still at or near its peak flow, there's no opportunity to get damage assessment teams in there.

"It's probably not as severe as it could have been but if it was your home that got flooded, trust me. It's severe. It's really a devastating situation to have your home flooded and to have to return to that."

People living in about 1,100 homes near the province's river systems have been on alert all week as the record snowpack in the mountains melts, sending a deluge of water into the rivers.

Telkwa Mayor Sharon Hartwell looked up at the snow-covered mountains surrounding her Bulkley Valley community and said she hopes a heat wave or heavy rainfall doesn't send a torrent of water into her community of 1,400 people.

She said residents estimate there are still up to three metres of snow on the mountains near the community.

"They were still snowmobiling up there a week ago and the snow was at the roof of the cabins," she said Thursday.

East of Telkwa, the community of Terrace remained cut off except by air as the only highway in and out was blocked by a mudslide on one side of town and flooding on the other.

Farther west along the blocked Highway 16 in Prince Rupert, Mayor Herb Pond urged residents to keep their cool.

People jammed stores and gas stations in an effort to stock up on essentials, but Pond said merchants are assuring residents there's no reason for panic.

"We do need to be psychologically prepared for the road being unavailable for the next week perhaps," he said.

"There's no predicting what Mother Nature is going to do here."

While the north-central part of the province around Prince George, Smithers, Terrace and Telkwa have had varying degrees of emergency all week, the flood risk on Thursday started to rise in the Kootenays.

A flood warning was issued for the Columbia River in the Golden area, just west of the Alberta boundary. But Mayor Jim Doyle said he wasn't too worried.

"It's (the river) starting to rise as the warm weather and all the creeks and snow melts up in the hills. So it's a bit of a concern there," he said. "But as we stand today. . . we're not feeling any undue pressure right now as a community."

The River Forecast Centre has said the Columbia will reach 10-year record levels and continue to rise.

But the centre was predicting slightly better conditions for the Fraser Valley. The centre estimated the Fraser will peak at the mid-six metre range by Monday at the latest.

That's almost a metre below earlier predictions and it means severe flooding is less likely.

But the 6.5-metre high is still high enough to swamp residents living between dikes and the river, and residents of the Abbotsford community of Glen Valley remained on evacuation alert.

Abbotsford expected to issue evacuation orders if the Fraser River reaches the 6.3-metre mark.

Harvey Sasaki, assistant deputy minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, said 39 of 48 farms in the Abbotsford area have applied for help to remove animals in case of flooding.

He said about 2,000 animals have already been moved and 700 animals on one farm are about to be relocated.

The Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam moved 160 people to higher ground Thursday.

© The Canadian Press, 2007
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