Paul J. Henderson@PeeJayAitch Nov 30, 2021:
Simplified version of events: @FraserValleyRD Board Chair Jason Lum:
“Why won’t the province respond to our flooding infrastructure requests?”
@mikefarnworthbc: “We didn’t get any requests.”
Lum: “Yes you did. More than 50 to date.” There is a problem here.
Mr. Olsen provides fantastic updates:
Tyler Olsen@ty_olsen Nov 30:
Re: This previous tweet, Joti asked if the FVRD *had* made any requests. Farnworth said no.
There are some damning specifics in that FVRD release: A $1.5 million request went to EMBC on Nov. 24. Staff kept following up. Last night verbal permission was granted. “By then the road was gone, so were the houses.”
BREAKING: Othello Road washed away 4 days after FVRD told province it needed help, The Fraser Valley Regional District had asked for $1.5 million to shore up Othello Road. By the time the request was approved, the road was gone, the FVRD said by Fraser Valley Current Contributor, November 30, 2021
- Our story on Mt. Baker, and the problems climate change poses for flooding from the Nooksack
- Our story on how to get, and give, help during this crisis
- Our investigation into the failure of the Sumas dike, and the reasons other levees are doomed to fail in the event of an even worse flood from the Fraser
- Our comprehensive story on the challenges Fraser Valley dairy farmers are facing
- Our comprehensive story on the history of Sumas Prairie, Sumas Lake, and the Nooksack River
NEW: To keep the length of this web page manageable, updates from more than a week ago are here.
Update: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 12:30pm
The Fraser Valley Regional District is calling for urgent federal and provincial help after delays in processing emergency requests resulted in at least two homes being destroyed by the Coquihalla River.
“We are issuing an urgent plea for immediate help to the Provincial and Federal governments,” FVRD Chair Jason Lum said in a press release to the media labelled “Urgent.”
“We have a number of pieces of critical infrastructure, including the Wilson Road Dike , that are on the brink of failure, and need help today – not tomorrow or in the coming days or weeks.”
The FVRD said it has to apply for funding and assistance on a case-by-case basis for things as small as excavators. “Quite frankly, the responses are coming too little too late,” Lum said.
The FVRD is the municipal body for rural areas outside of the District of Hope, the District of Kent, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, the City of Chilliwack, and the City of Mission. These regions are, in general, sparsely populated, but also at significant risk of flooding and landslides.
The release said that the FVRD emergency operations centre had put in a number of requests to the government that had gone unanswered for days. This included a request for $1,5 million to shore up Othello Road near Hope, which was as risk of washing into the Coquihalla River. The request was put in on Nov. 24, nine days after one home had already been destroyed by the river. The FVRD received verbal approval to shore up Othello Road late Monday, but by then a portion of the road was gone, as were two more homes.
“As of today we have several homes still teetering on the edge of the washout, at risk of being swallowed by the Coquihalla River,” Lum said.
The Current asked Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth about the FVRD’s concerns about delays on requests for permission for urgent repairs, and asked him to explain what the delays were. He said there was none. “There is no request for permission for urgent repairs to prevent flooding,” he said.
Just before the press release was issued, an evacuation order has been sent out for 8400 Shook Rd., an island on the south end of Hatzic Lake near Mission. That property is the location of a large mobile home park.
The entire Hatzic Valley had been put on evacuation alert over the weekend, when heavy rainfall caused flooding and landslide concerns. Those approximately 1,600 properties are still on alert, as Hatzic Lake continue to rise and unstable slopes risk cutting off road access due to landslides.
Mission Raceway Park has opened its track for residents on Shook Road who need space to store equipment or RVs.
The Dewdney Area Improvement District, which is responsible for maintaining the Fraser River dike between Mission and Dewdney, said the Hatzic pumps had been running over the weekend to keep water moving into the Fraser.
The pump station was upgraded in 2014, when three new pumps were installed to operate automatically when there is high water inside the dike. The existing 1948 stork pumps were not removed. All five of the pumps had been running over the weekend to lower the water levels. However, the district said Monday’s break from the rain likely wouldn’t be enough to bring down the water levels. Residents should be prepared for flooding that could match or exceed what the community saw during the first November storm. …
Shame on BC Govt, gives how many hundreds of $millions to $billion-profit making, mostly foreign energy companies that are hoarding cash and trashing the place:
Tyler Olsen@ty_olsen Nov 30, 2021:
And if the province is pinching pennies on $30,000 for VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS who have worked 10 straight days for *free*, I could see why the FVRD isn’t ready to just go ahead and assume they’ll shell out for a $1.5 million project.
FVRD chair Jason Lum said the province REJECTED a request to compensate volunteer firefighters who had been working on the ground for 10 days straight. ““It’s an insult to those volunteers who are out risking their lives for their neighbour,” he said earlier. more to come…
Refer also to:
Dear Horgan et al: To repair and prepare for climate chaos: Stop frac’ing! Stop Site C dam (the chaos ahead will flush it downriver anyways). Quit giving public dollars to cash-hoarding foreign energy companies (notably Encana-Ovintiv). Use the workers and money to repair and prepare instead.