© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Community Members Struggle to Rescue Stranded Cattle from Farm After Rainstorms Cause Floods and Landslides in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, November 16, 2021. REUTERS / Jesse Winter
Author: Jesse Winter
ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia (Reuters) – Canada deployed an air force on Wednesday to help British Columbia cope with major floods that killed one person, with more rain expected in the coming days.
Landslides have destroyed roads and bridges and cut off access to the country’s largest port in Vancouver, disrupting global supply chains that are already struggling to cope with the problems caused by COVID-19.
After a phenomenon known as an atmospheric river dumped rain worth a month in two days, officials are worried that another downpour could flood a pumping station near Abbotsford, a city of 160,000 people east of Vancouver, which has already been partially evacuated.
Mayor Henry Brown said the station was operating at full capacity. Volunteers built a dam around the station overnight, he said.
“It will buy us more time, but if we had another weather event we just went through, we are in deep doo-doo (problems),” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Farmers in Abbotsford ignored the evacuation order on Tuesday and desperately tried to save their animals from the swollen water, in some cases tying ropes around the cows’ necks https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-flood-cattle/ small-navy-farmer-phase-rescue-cows-in-flood-affected-british-colombia-idUSKBN2I220A and pulling them to higher ground.
Several places were completely cut off, and food began to run out in the city of Hope, 100 miles (160 km) east of Vancouver.
Pastor Jeff Kuhn said a quarter of the city’s 6,000 residents are seeking shelter.
“There’s not much left in the stores. They just can’t replenish supplies, there’s no way to get through,” he told Canadian Broadcasting Corp., saying that even though some food was brought in by plane, there was only stock for one day left.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while on a trip to Washington, said the federal government would help the province recover from what he said was a “terribly bad situation”.
Federal Emergency Preparedness Secretary Bill Blair said the air force would carry food, fuel, food and water and supplies to communities while helping with sandbags.
Hundreds of troops will be deployed, he told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
THE LARGEST PORT CLOTHED
The floods are the second weather-related disaster to hit British Columbia in recent months. Huge fire https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/canadas-infernal-summer-puts-climate-change-forefront-election-2021-09-01 in the same region where some of the devastation destroyed the entire city in the end June.
Environmental scientists say forest fires are becoming more frequent and larger due to climate change. Combined with the drought that has hit the province, fires can limit the ability of soil and vegetation to absorb large amounts of water.
Canadian Pacific (NYSE 🙂 Railroad and Canadian National Railways (TSX :), the country’s two largest railroad companies, said the floods forced them to cut off service to Vancouver, the country’s largest port.
The port of Vancouver carries cargo worth 550 million Canadian dollars (440 million dollars) every day, ranging from cars to containers full of basic products.
The floods have temporarily halted much of the trade in wheat and canola from Canada, one of the world’s largest grain exporters. The disturbance could also affect the export of potash.