As most people know by now, British Columbia is experiencing massive amounts of floods across the southern portion of the province. The flooding has prompted the province to declare a state of emergency after days of heavy rain in the southern half of the province led to rivers overflowing.
Roads in and around Vancouver and Vancouver Island have been shut down to the floods and the city of Merritt was under an evacuation order as of Nov. 15.
We feel for everyone in B.C. affected by this unfortunate flood that has caused damage to homes, businesses, and needed infrastructure. COVID-19 has been unforgiving over the past year and a half and now another challenge has been presented to many British Columbians.
The floods will also have impacts on the rest of Canada. Cargo in and out of Vancouver ports have been extremely limited which has sent shockwaves across the rest of the country. Fuel, food, medicine, and other essential goods are experiencing issues getting out and into the area as Highway 1 east is flooded and other sections of main rail corridors are closed due to washouts. The Port of Vancouver issued a statement on Nov. 18 indicating that their “supply chain partners and lead agencies at various levels of government are still assessing impact in our region. Vessel delays and heightened anchorage demand due to disrupted terminal operations are expected.”
So, that means for the foreseeable future, the Vancouver area will be hard-pressed to get things in or out. And in Alberta, that means many goods will be unavailable — namely fresh B.C. fruit. Local markets and food grocers are already reporting a slow intake of those goods, and Albertans have been rushing to stores to stock up.
At the end of last week, more than 100 Canadian Armed Forces personnel landed in Abbotsford to help with emergency operations and they were helping construct a flood levee. The province also announced other aid was coming from other provinces and Washington state to help farmers and ranchers in the Fraser Valley. Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun stated total costs for rebuilding and repairing could exceed $1 billion. According to CTV News, as of Thursday evening, 17,000 people remained away from their homes due to the floods and landslides.
All-in-all, these floods have been devastating to put it lightly. We hope everyone out west stays safe during these times and we hope things can be rebuilt and put back into place when safe to do so.