The prime minister spoke with members of the Canadian Armed Forces who were sandbagging the Fraser Valley community, both to stem existing floodwater and prepare for two more atmospheric rivers expected to fall in the next four days.
“Thanks for all your hard work!” he called out to soldiers, noting that it’s been a busy year for troops responding to natural disasters.
The prime minister also met Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun, Sumas First Nation Chief Dalton Silver, Matsqui First Nation Chief Alice McKay, first responders, and volunteers.
In an earlier Friday, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Trudeau’s visit was important as he’ll be able to view the scale of the damage firsthand and report back to his cabinet.
Trudeau will later meet Premier John Horgan in Victoria and hold a 5:30 p.m. media availability.
On Thursday, B.C. opened a key stretch of the Trans-Canada highway through Abbotsford, easing a traffic bottleneck and helping to restore fractured supply lines in the province.
That community remained on alert and under a flood watch Thursday night, as more heavy rain pounded the region raising concerns the Nooksack River in Washington state could flood again, sending more water pouring north of the border.
Two more rain storms are expected in the coming days, prompting Environment Canada to issue its first ‘red level alert’ for weather.
Crews have been working continuously since last week to repair and buttress dikes surrounding the Sumas Prairie lowlands, some of which remain under more than two metres of water.