- Wednesday was a day when homes and farms were still submerged.
- Numerous major roads were damaged.
- Canada’s largest port was the last stop for rail service.
- At least one person was murdered.
While the rain has stopped for Washington State and British Columbia, the devastation wrought by catastrophic flooding or deadly landslides continues.
Wednesday morning saw homes and farmland still under water.
Canada’s biggest port saw record amounts of goods transiting through it in the first half this year. Rail service was cut off.
Parts of Highway 5 (also known by Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia) collapsed. Other major arteries were partially or completely blocked.
More than 1,000 tourists were left stranded at a small B.C. The locals took in the travelers and provided shelter and food.
At least one person was killed, and two people were missing due to mudslides. Ten people were taken to the hospital.
Sumas, Washington officials stated that the damage was “devastating to our city” in a post on Facebook. “These families and businesses require our prayers and support as the cleanup and rebuilding process begins over the next few days.”
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According to Tuesday afternoon’s estimates, 75% of the homes within the small community of Whatcom County had water damage.
According to the Vancouver Sun, residents were asked to evacuate the area Tuesday night following a flood alert sent across the border in Abbotsford (British Columbia).
“If you are in the Sumas Prairie and have not already evacuated, you must do so immediately,” officials said in a statement issued shortly after 11 p.m. local time Tuesday. “Do not remain for livestock or property. Flood conditions have escalated quickly and pose a significant risk to life.”
More than 180 residents of Abbotsford were transported to safety by water and air.
A few hundred travelers spent another night in Hope, 45 miles to their northeast. Officials estimated that around 1,250 people were trapped there after the town’s roads were closed due to landslides.
“It’s apocalyptic here,” Yasmin Andricevic, a stranded driver who was welcomed into a stranger’s home along with her husband and two young children, told the Sun.
On Tuesday, she paid $2,400 for a helicopter flight. Many others were also trying to do the same thing, but at least one charter firm said they were reserving aircraft for emergency operations.
According to the Associated Press Tuesday evening, one body was pulled from the rubble of a landslide near Lillooet on Highway 99, approximately 117 miles northeast Vancouver, British Columbia. Rescuers were looking for additional victims.
“The total number of people and vehicles unaccounted for has not been confirmed,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sgt. According to the Sun, Janelle Shoihes said in a statement.
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According to poweroutage.us, approximately 12,000 homes and businesses were without power Wednesday morning in northwest Washington. On Tuesday, at most 50,000 outages were reported.
BC Hydro reported that it restored power to over 219,000 customers in British Columbia on Monday and Tuesday. In an update, the utility stated that most outages were caused in part by high winds. It also noted that it was difficult to repair due the widespread flooding.
This was the second time in a span of less than a week that the Pacific Northwest was hit with an atmospheric river, a type weather pattern that packs heavy rain and strong winds.
As it moved east through the Rockies and Central Plains, the same storm system also ignited at least one wildfire.
Experts predict extreme weather will become more common because of global warming.
“What we’re seeing is a natural disaster,” said Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s minister of public safety, according to the Sun. “We recognize that climate change is playing a fundamental role in the challenges that we are facing.”
Last summer, the region was ravaged by a deadly heatwave that occurred amid ongoing drought conditions.
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