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City officials toured hardest-hit parts of flood-damaged Chilliwack

Tour went from water-laden Boundary Road to washout on Vedder Mountain Road, west of Cultus Lake
Mayor Ken Popove surveys damage from largest of five slides on Vedder Mountain Road on Nov. 22, 2021. (City of Chilliwack)

Flood-water levels on Boundary Road in Yarrow have receded since City of Chilliwack officials toured the worst-hit parts of Chilliwack on Monday (Nov. 22).

Mayor Ken Popove and Coun. Jason Lum got an up-close look at the damage, in the wake of devastating floods and landslides in Chilliwack, from water-laden Boundary Road, to the landslide damage along Vedder Mountain Road, west of Cultus Lake Road.

One of the five landslides is worse than the others on Vedder Mountain Road, and repairs are underway.

“It was a major slide that came down so it’s our highest priority right now,” Popove said.

The calamitous flooding event saw 20,000 acres of land around Sumas Prairie and beyond to be submerged underwater, which includes the nine evacuated properties in Yarrow.

RELATED: Situation in Chilliwack way different than Abbotsford

The one-lane of traffic on Vedder Mountain Road was shut down Monday morning so crews could begin to install culverts, stabilize slopes and repair the partial road washout.

The only access to Yarrow is through Keith Wilson Road, but they anticipate reopening to single-lane traffic on Vedder Mountain Road by Wednesday or Thursday, he said.

Crews worked to armour that section of Vedder Mountain at the top before working their way down on slope stabilization, to prevent future slide events.

“As quickly as they can get it done, it will be repaired, because we need that second route into Yarrow,” the mayor said.

They said the main slide repair could take a few days but given the enormity of the task, it might take a little longer, he said.

“If you look up on the mountain it looks like a huge scar where the slide came down, bringing trees, debris and rocks.”

On Tuesday the focus of crews was on Vedder Mountain Road, Elk View Road, and Chilliwack River Road.

Environment Canada is predicting another 40 to 80 millimetres of rain from Wednesday night to Friday morning.

The following list of full and partial road closures, from the city’s Flood Watch Warning and Closures page:

Old Orchard Road: closed, just east of Shrewsbury, November 20-23 for repairs

Keith Wilson Road: open to residents of Yarrow only - no access to Abbotsford.

Vedder Mtn Road: Full closure started Monday, November 22.

Elk View Road: closed from Ryder Lake Road intersection (at the 3 way stop) to the second Ryder Lake Road.

Bowman Road: closed.

Majuba Hill Road: open to local traffic only, single lane traffic (expect long delays).

Marble Hill Road at Ramsay: open to local traffic only.

RELATED: Dike repairs in Abby 80 per cent done

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Mayor Ken Popove, and Coun. Jason Lum on Boundary Road on Nov. 22, 2021. (City of Chilliwack)

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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