Abbotsford set a record in November for the most rainfall the city has ever received in a month, Mayor Henry Braun said Wednesday (Dec. 1).
He said the city recorded one-third of its typical annual rainfall from Nov. 1-30 with accumulations of more than 540 millimetres.
“For those of you who are from my generation, that’s just under two feet of water layered over our entire city,” he said at the city’s daily 2 p.m. press conference.
Braun said a total of 60 mm of rain occurred in the previous two days, and the water levels of the Sumas Prairie lake bottom dropped one inch in the last 24 hours.
He said several road closures and evacuation orders/alerts are still in place due to localized flooding, including along North Parallel Road near Whatcom.
“If the weather continues to cooperate over the next few days, we hope to be able to start lifting these,” he said.
“I would like to stress that, even though it may not be actively raining, there is a lot of rainwater and snow melt that is still making its way down the mountains of Baker, Vedder and Sumas, and we continue to see water levels rise unexpectedly in some areas across our community.”
Braun said Whatcom County has confirmed that the Nooksack River has crested and is not expected to overflow its banks again, as it did over the weekend.
The floodgates at the Barrowtown Pump Station are temporarily closed, but are expected to be reopened later Wednesday when the tide drops, he said.
Braun also said the city is in discussions with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Emergency Management BC about the timing of reopening Highway 1.
A Tiger Dam is currently in place across the freeway at Cole Road.
“(The opening) is all subject to flood conditions, rainfall events, river levels and snow melt,” Braun said.
He said recovery efforts of homes and land throughout the community cannot get fully underway until the floodwaters have receded and Highway 1 and Vye Road are fully accessible.
“I don’t have a projection of when that will be … That water is going to be there for a number of weeks,” Braun said.