‘If there's a breach, we go from zero to 100': Abbotsford, B.C. on high flood alert Tuesday

The Fraser Valley is bracing for more flooding Tuesday as the third atmospheric river hits B.C.

‘If there’s a breach, we go from zero to 100’: Abbotsford, B.C. on high flood alert Tuesday
© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward People watch the rising flood waters crossing the Canada/United States border in Huntington Village in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday, November 29, 2021.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said Tuesday morning it has been raining since about 3:30 a.m.

“The floodgates are open and that’s great news because that water that we took on overnight and yesterday afternoon is heading back out to the Fraser,” Braun told Global News.

“So I am optimistically hopeful we’re going to get through this round three.”

Video: B.C. floods: Sumas mayor on bracing for possible flooding from the Nooksack River

Heavy rain is causing localized flooding. If you have called the Operations Yard to deal with an emergent flooding situation, please be patient. Most of our staff are out dealing with the major flooding on the Sumas Prairie. We will get to your call as soon as we can. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/oufzk0RWMm

— City of Abbotsford (@City_Abbotsford) November 30, 2021

He said he was concerned increased snowmelt could cause the Fraser River to rise even further so city officials remain on high alert.

There is still concern snowmelt from Mount Baker would run into the Nooksack River in Washington State, which if it rises enough and breaches its dike system, would then affect water levels in Abbotsford.

“It’s the breaches that cause us the pain down here,” Braun said.

“If there’s a breach we go from zero to 100 right away.”

Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack remains closed Tuesday. Braun said he does not have a timeline for when that will reopen.

Watching the rain closely today, I was hoping @MMadryga had some pull and could give us a better forecast. We are ready for this, #BarrowTown pumps, flood gates and dikes are doing their jobs. Please follow directions of @AbbyPoliceDept & flaggers as we monitor flooded roads. pic.twitter.com/Rz75BmoZAt

— Mike Serr (@ChiefSerr) November 30, 2021

On Tuesday morning, Sumas Mayor Kyle Christensen told Global News the new weather system will cause the waters to rise but they are also “cautiously optimistic.”

Christensen said crews will be actively clearing any blockages and debris to make sure the water can flow and not breach the dike system.

He said they have been in constant contact with Abbotsford officials and they are working together.

“The next 24 hours, our concern is just with the increased water levels. Most of our waterways already have a big build-up of water and they haven’t had time to drain out before this next weather system,” Christensen added.

The City of Abbotsford will hold an update on the flooding situation at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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