Pacific Northwest Flooding Triggers State of Emergency in British Columbia
23 November 2021
EIRNS- An “atmospheric river” hit northwestern Washington state and southern British Columbia on Nov. 15-16, dumping huge amounts of rain across the region and causing widespread flooding, mudslides and rock-slides.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government are coordinating an emergency response, and he gave an update on the dramatic events at all of his remarks Nov. 17 and 18 in Washington D.C., for the North American Leaders Summit. British Columbia was declared a state of emergency on Nov. 17. Air Force personnel have been deployed to help there with the aftermath of the floods.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from towns across southern B.C., including Merritt and Princeton. Just to the south, in Washington dtate, over one foot of rain fell in five days, flooding neighborhoods, closing roads, forcing evacuations and bringing rivers into major flood stage.
Had the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) proposed in the 1960s been built, the envisioned dams on the upper Fraser River would have diverted some of the flood water into the Rocky Mountain Trench reservoir for transport to the presently arid regions of western Canada, United States and northern Mexico. However, a more effective approach to mitigating the destructive flooding resulting when “atmospheric rivers” collide with mountain ranges, will likely require the discovery and application of new physical principles for weather modification, such as, for example, atmospheric ionization.
In Abbotsford, B.C., situated on the southern bank of the Fraser River near the U.S. border, 184 people were rescued overnight after the city issued a call to evacuate the area late Tuesday. On Tuesday evening, the pumping station was in danger of breakdown. The Barrowtown Pump Station is the only thing keeping excess water flow from the Fraser River from entering the Sumas Prairie and devastating many square kilometers of prime agricultural land, which is also in danger from Nooksack River flow northward from Washington state.
The Vancouver Sun reports that Fraser Valley farmers supply 50% of all the province’s eggs, chickens and dairy products. There are 45,000 dairy cows in the valley, and each chicken farm has around 25,000 birds. Thousands of farm animals have died in the “agricultural disaster” set off by the flooding, says B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham.
The flooding is also disrupting the movement of agricultural commodities from the Prairies to the West Coast, according to an article in the Western Producer. All rail access to the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s #1 port and North America’s #2 port in terms of total foreign exports, has been cut by floods and landslides in the B.C. interior, which could interrupt shipments of grain, coal and potash. Mudslides and washouts have also resulted in multiple closures of the two major highways through the Fraser Valley: The Trans-Canada Highway (No. 1), which follows the southern bank of the Fraser River and Highway No. 7 which follows the northern bank. [rah]