|Situation Update for Yarrow Evacuation||November 17, 2021|
Chilliwack, BC: Last night, the situation in Abbotsford continued to pose a threat of flooding in Yarrow. Chilliwack staff monitored water levels throughout the evening and remained in contact with Abbotsford for regular updates on the status of their Barrowtown pump station.
Although the Barrowtown pump station is an Abbotsford asset, it is currently only accessible from the Chilliwack side, making it possible for City staff and volunteers to help flood efforts in Abbotsford last night. More than 200 Chilliwack residents, Chilliwack Operations staff, and Chilliwack paid-on-call fire fighters assisted in protecting Abbotsford’s pump station. The group built a 25 meter long sand bag wall to protect the pump station. Local business owners and contractors also donated time, equipment and material to help protect the site.
“The amazing efforts of Chilliwack residents and staff made a significant impact on flood efforts last night,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “In an emergency situation, it is important for neighbours to help each other out, and that’s exactly what Chilliwack has been doing for Abbotsford throughout this emergency situation.”
While in Abbotsford, the Barrowtown pump station plays an important role in flood protection for the Yarrow area. Streams and ditches from Yarrow and Sumas Prairie drain to that pump station, where they are pumped out to the Sumas/Fraser River. Currently, there are significant additional flows going to the Barrowtown pump station due to the Nooksack River flooding. Chilliwack City staff will continue to closely monitor the status of the Barrowtown pump station, because if it stops operating, water levels would back up and cause additional flooding in Sumas Prairie and Yarrow.
At this point, flooding from Sumas Prairie into Yarrow is limited but staff are continuing to review the status of the Nooksack River, local drainage systems, and Barrowtown pump station. Staff are currently analysing possible flood extents should the Barrowtown pump station fail and its impact on Yarrow. At this time, the evacuation order remains in effect for the community of Yarrow and Majuba Hill.
(Edit, November 25, 2:15 pm: As of November 26, 2021, the Emergency Support Services Reception Centre will be located at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre at Chilliwack Secondary School (46361 Yale Road) for anyone needing immediate assistance.
Edit, November 19, 3 pm: The reception centre has moved to Evergreen Hall at 9291 Corbould Street.)
The Emergency Support Services Reception Centre in Chilliwack has been serving residents that have been evacuated from Chilliwack and Abbotsford. As of 8:00 am on November 17, volunteers have registered approximately 642 people. Last night, 160 people spent the night at Evergreen Hall, resulting in the need to open a second location, the Chilliwack Landing Sport Centre, which saw another 30 people stay the night. Today, the Reception Centre has moved to the Landing Sports Centre and will continue to register evacuees as needed.
Chilliwack Emergency Operations Centre will continue to monitor the situation closely and connect with other local and provincial authorities. Residents are reminded that the evacuation order is still in effect for Yarrow and Majuba Hill and that access to those areas will only be permitted for emergency personnel. The RCMP continues to patrol the area.
Please continue to respect road closures and drive cautiously, as many roadways still have standing water or debris.
Updates will be posted online at chilliwack.com/FloodWatch as information becomes available.
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