As Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who helped out in the flood-ravaged Interior leave British Columbia, a contingent of 100 troops will remain in Chilliwack on standby.
The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Emergency Management BC (EMBC) announced Thursday that with the flood situation in many parts of the province beginning to stabilize, B.C. has amended its request for federal assistance to support B.C.’s response to flooding.
This means departures of CAF troops back to their base in Edmonton will be staggered with the troops leaving between May 24 and May 26.
“This staggered approach ensures troops are available should the flood situation worsen,” according to a government press release.
The contingent of more than 100 B.C.-based CAF troops will remain in Chilliwack, available to support flood-response efforts in the Fraser Valley, if needed.
By Thursday, the Fraser River at Mission gauge was at 5.869 metres, a slight drop from the close to six metres it hit on May 20.
B.C. River Forecast Centre (BCRFC) head David Campbell said this week that given the lack of rain in recent days, it’s possible the Fraser region has “dodged a bullet.”
Two weeks ago Campbell said the forecast was for the river at the Mission gauge to hit 6.5 metres, but that did not happen. Now the forecast is for the continued high water but little chance of an increase.
The key over the next period of time for flooding in the Fraser Valley is whether or not there is rain along with continued warm weather.
As for the military, additional rescue resources from CAF and the Canadian Coast Guard, including watercraft and aircraft, will also remain available to support provincial efforts, if needed.