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B.C. flooding: Chilliwack downgrades evacuation orders for Yarrow, Majuba Hill

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Chilliwack emergency officials give flooding update'
B.C. floods: Chilliwack emergency officials give flooding update
Chilliwack emergency coordinator Chris Wilson gives an update on an evacuation order for the Yarrow and Majuba Hill areas and says the city is not looking for donations of physical goods or volunteers at this time – Nov 17, 2021

The City of Chilliwack downgraded flood evacuation orders for the Yarrow and Majuba Hill areas Wednesday evening.

The orders affected more than 1,000 homes in the community, as where rising waters from the Nooksack River had flooded the Sumas Prairie.

A handful of properties remained under an evacuation order, while the remainder were placed on an evacuation alert.

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“Several positive factors have led to the City’s decision to rescind the evacuation order for most properties and move to an alert,” the city said in a media release.

“The water in the Nooksack River is dropping considerably, which will diminish flow into Abbotsford. The Fraser River continues to drop and officials estimate that by tomorrow they should be able to open the flood gates, which will reduce water levels. The pumps are also working at Abbotsford’s Barrowtown pump station.”

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Abbotsford officials had warned Tuesday the area could still see a “catastrophic” infusion of more water should the Barrowtown Pump Station fail.

Earlier Wednesday, Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove hailed locals for their selfless work to protect the pump station Tuesday night.

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Fire and water threatens Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford'
B.C. floods: Fire and water threatens Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford

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More than 200 Chilliwack residents, staff and firefighters turned out Tuesday to help in the overnight work to build a wall of sandbags around the pump station, which has been struggling to keep up with flood waters from Washington state’s Nooksack River

“This emergency has shown how important community is,” Popove said.

Other parts of Chilliwack were not currently at risk of flooding, Popove said, adding that city staff were closely monitoring dikes and the Barrowtown pump situation.

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Chilliwack emergency coordinator and Fire Chief Chris Wilson Chilliwack emergency coordinator and Fire Chief Chris Wilson described Tuesday’s evacuation as “smooth,” adding he believed almost everyone had safely exited the Yarrow area by mid-afternoon Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters'
B.C. floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters

He said more than 640 people had registered with emergency social services, nearly 200 of whom were sheltering at Evergreen Hall and the Chilliwack Landing Sports Centre.

Wilson added that the city has seen a flood of offers of volunteers and donated goods, but said Chilliwack was not currently accepting either.

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Chilliwack director of planning and engineering David Blaine said there were still concerns in some areas of the city about hillside washouts, and said city crews were working as quickly as possible to shore them up.

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He urged residents to respect all road closures.

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