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‘The scale of the flood damage is extraordinary’: B.C. crews continue cleanup

Click to play video: 'B.C. is shifting to flood management and recovery work: public safety minister' B.C. is shifting to flood management and recovery work: public safety minister
B.C.'s Public Safety Minister, Mike Farnworth, said Monday he visited Princeton on Friday and the scale of the damage was extensive. He said the focus for the province is now flood management and recovery work and crews will be working in these areas around the province over the coming weeks and months – Dec 6, 2021

B.C.’s Public Safety Minister, Mike Farnworth, said Monday crews in flood-ravaged communities continue to remove debris and damaged material so rebuilding can begin.

He visited the hard-hit community of Princeton on Friday and walked through the waterlogged neighbourhoods.

“The scale of the flood damage is extraordinary,” he said.

He added it was hard to see people’s homes damaged from the water and mud, but he was encouraged by the homeowners’ spirit and resilience.
Click to play video: '‘Everything was frozen’: Merritt, B.C. residents face more frustrations in flooding aftermath' ‘Everything was frozen’: Merritt, B.C. residents face more frustrations in flooding aftermath
‘Everything was frozen’: Merritt, B.C. residents face more frustrations in flooding aftermath – Dec 6, 2021

The minister will visit Merritt on Tuesday.

Some Canadian Armed Forces members are heading home Monday, but a troop of 126 will remain in Chilliwack and continue to help, Farnworth said.

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Read more: B.C. expands disaster financial assistance program after flooding, landslides

Click to play video: 'Merritt flood victims gut basements' Merritt flood victims gut basements
Merritt flood victims gut basements – Dec 5, 2021

Around $8.6 million has been dispersed to evacuees, he added, and, starting on Dec. 15, evacuee financial support will be managed by the Canadian Red Cross and the provincial government. Farnworth said people will still access the support the same way.

In a milestone over the weekend, oil is once again flowing through the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

It was shut down three weeks ago as a precaution because of the extensive flooding and landslides.

Trans Mountain said Sunday there are no indications of any leaks or other serious damage to the pipeline.

Parts of B.C. remain under fuel rationing for non-essential vehicles until at least Dec. 14.

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Read more: Trans Mountain Pipeline restarts after three-week pause due to B.C. floods

Click to play video: 'Mystery dog found wandering flooded Sumas Prairie' Mystery dog found wandering flooded Sumas Prairie
Mystery dog found wandering flooded Sumas Prairie – Dec 5, 2021

When it comes to the highway conditions, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Highway 7 between Mission and Abbotsford will no longer be for essential travel only as of Monday afternoon.

Highway 11 opened to single-lane alternating traffic in both directions between Mission and Abbotsford.

Highway 3 is “holding up well,” Fleming added, but there are still a lot of crashes on that route, which is causing backups.

Work on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) continues “around the clock,” he said, adding that he remains optimistic that as long as there are “typical seasonal conditions” on the highway, they still hope the road can reopen to commercial traffic at the end of January.
Click to play video: 'Trans Mountain pipeline restarts after 3-week shutdown' Trans Mountain pipeline restarts after 3-week shutdown
Trans Mountain pipeline restarts after 3-week shutdown – Dec 6, 2021

Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon is still closed. Crews are installing a temporary detour at Tank Hill, and work continues at Jackass Mountain, where a landslide swept away a section of highway. Fleming said he hopes temporary repairs can be in place by mid-January.

Highway 8 between Merritt and Spences Bridge is still closed with no timeline for reopening.

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Crews are making good progress on sites west of Merritt to regain temporary access and allow BC Hydro crews to work in the area, the minister added.

“We are trending in the right direction and that is something we can all be incredibly proud of.”

 

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