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Abbotsford bracing for potential flooding as atmospheric river delivers deluge

Reference: CTV News

The City of Abbotsford is taking steps to help residents protect their homes from another round of flooding as a weather system pushing in off the Pacific Ocean delivers a supersoaker rain event.

The city has provided thousands of pre-filled sandbags for residents, which can be picked up for free at Albert Dyck Park or in the Village of Clayburn.

Rob Pollock was loading up his truck Wednesday morning because he was hoping to shore up defences around his home after several inches of water flooded in during the series of atmospheric rivers that drenched the Fraser Valley in November.

“We just don’t want to take any more chances,” he said. “Our house has been half-remediated. So, we just want to try and prevent any further damage.”

Because his house is on a flood plain, he’s not covered by insurance — and he’s still waiting to see if he qualifies for any disaster assistance money from the province.

In the area around Clayburn Village, residents who were also flooded in November are anxiously watching the water rise.

A creek that spilled its banks then is already lapping at the base of a 100-metre-long wall built by members of the Canadian Armed Forces to protect homes from further damage.

In the southern part of the city, close to the Sumas border crossing, full ditches threaten to overtake roads and have already encroached on private property in places.

In neighbourhoods at higher elevation, deep snow still surrounds many houses and could make its way into basements if it melts quickly during this week’s rain storms.

And along the Trans-Canada Highway, digital signs warn of pooling water and the risk of more flooding in a community still cleaning up from the November storms.

“Certainly, we want to try and be as prepared as we can,” said Pollock as he drove away with his truck full of sandbags.

He and many others will be keeping an eye on the flood forecast for Washington State’s Nooksack River in the coming days.

When it flowed over the border in November, water filled the Sumas Prairie and forced evacuations, killed hundreds of thousands of farm animals, and shut down Highway 1 for more than a week... Read More