British Columbia has expanded its state of emergency to support flood recovery efforts as well as restrict tourism in order to limit fuel purchases to non-essential vehicles and restrict tourism along hard-hit sections of highways tampered with by the province.
In announcing the extension on Monday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnsworth said “critical weather” brings in 85 percent of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which typically requires fuel for refining in BC and has since been offline. The challenge for is remains November 14.
“Fuel conservation measures are working and I want to thank British Columbians for their patience – but we need to stay course for another two weeks until we have the Trans Mountain pipeline back online,” Mr. Farnworth said. “We need to have the fuel our supply chains, and emergency service, need to function as they need.”
The limited order of 30 liters of fuel purchase per visit at a gas station applies to the Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky Area, Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. That order, along with the state of emergency that gives the province power to enforce it, has been extended until at least 14 December.
The province is also providing an order prohibiting non-essential travel on parts of Highways 3, 7 and 99. Those who disobey the rules could face fines of up to $2,000.
BC is in the middle of the second and third of a series of predicted storms. Efforts have taken place along with efforts involving hundreds of workers and volunteers to sandbag overnight to clean up and rebuild following the massive influx of two weeks ago, which damaged critical infrastructure and affected every major highway and Be prepared for more bad weather. Meanwhile, the government has had to find alternative ways to ensure the movement of essential commodities such as fuel.
Energy Minister Bruce Ralston said government employees Canada is working with their federal counterparts in Transport and Natural Resources Canada as well as fuel suppliers, retailers and the Fuel Association of Canada to ensure BC has an adequate fuel supply .
“The fuel has made its way from Alberta to the Lower Mainland via the railway,” Mr Ralston said on Monday. “We also know that some yachts have come to the US to offload fuel from this fuel supply to compensate for the product that would normally come from the Trans Mountain pipeline while the company works toward restarting the line We have been provided with to do.”
CP The railroad said that 30 places were damaged following the typhoon, but some operations resumed last week.
However, some producers still struggle with the transportation challenges of the damaged infrastructure. Forestry company West Fraser has announced it is temporarily closing two pulp mills, with 220 workers laid off, according to the Williams Lake Tribune. The company stated that it is unable to ship the product and that accessible storage has run out.
In Abbotsford, Mayor Henry Brown is Monday that waters wash from the Nooksack River that Sumas,. An embankment breached in, and her city on Sunday ended up taking a day longer than predicted by US officials was expected. Additionally, the Fraser River dropped low enough that Abbotsford could reopen the sluice at its Barrowtown Pump Station after a brief closure, which allowed water from the Sumas River to drain.
“Those two things in combination make me very comfortable, and I feel much better today than I did yesterday at this point on the other [weather] incident,” the mayor told a press conference. “The third one is still an unknown. Is doing everything, so I think we are in good shape. ,
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The water had not reached the bottom of severely affected Sumas Prairie Lake as of Monday afternoon, but did reach about two feet into the Huntingdon village of Abbotsford, on the US border, where an evacuation order remains in place.
Armel Castellon, an alert preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said Monday that southern BC was on a “24 hour break” by rain and that next system is again an atmospheric river, coming from near the Philippines, traveling 8,000 to 9,000 kilometers in the past few days.
“It will deliver a relatively strong punch, similar to what we saw this weekend,” he said. “We’re talking about 50 to 100 millimeters on the South Coast for the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound and Fraser Valley.”
Mr Castellan said the area is not only accompanied by precipitation, but also snow melt and a frequent storm event.
“So even though the third storm isn’t as bad as it could have been in the modeling leading up to today, it’s going to be problematic because they’re coming so close, back to back, with runoff and saturated soil Will go.”
Enhanced flood alert for the BC River Forecast Center for all of Vancouver Island and a large stretch of the South Coast, from Vancouver to Bella Coola on Monday morning.
In the Cowichan District, which has been in a local state of emergency since mid-November, 147 properties have been assessed for flood damage in the past two weeks. A flood center run by the regional district with the Cowichan tribe, the Halalt First Nation, and the Penelakut tribe served 200 people over the past four days. With additional heavy rain in the forecast, a team of 30 Canadian Forces was deployed over the weekend to support sandbagging and make preparations for the region’s worst-affected communities.
With above 100 millimeters of rain forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday in Howe Sound, the Squamish nation had emergency crews sandbagging sensitive areas for protection from rising levels of the Cheakamus River. The nation was securing housing and preparing Totem Hall in Squamish as a reception center in case residents needed to evacuate.
Meanwhile, in BC close to 10 percent of blueberry fields were affected by floods, and some farmers aren’t sure they’ll be able to invest the time and money to start again.
The BC Blueberry Council estimates that at least 2,500 acres of blueberries have been affected, including 1,000 acres that remain underwater in Sumas Prairie. Statistics Canada reports the total acres of blueberry production in the province is about 27,000 acres.
Blueberry Council noted that parts of the Matsqui Flat area near the Fraser River, and other areas were also flooded and are likely to experience varying degrees of damage or loss.
Blueberry bushes die when submerged for long periods. Harry Sidhu, a burger farmer in Sumas Prairie, said it is likely that severely affected farmers will need to pull their bushes and replant, at high cost.
“Blueberries are a perennial plant and it takes years to yield a sizable crop, so it can result in a significant loss of income for many years,” Mr. Sidhu said in a statement.
Mr Brown said last week that his heart ached for farmers who told him through tears that they could not afford to start over.
“Some of those farmers, they’ve told me they don’t know if they’re going to [replant]They don’t know if they can do it financially,” he said.
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