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VIDEO: Chilliwack mayor contrasts isolated Yarrow flooding with devastation in Abbotsford

If there is no flooding update from Chilliwack, it means the ‘situation has not changed,’ mayor

Mayor Ken Popove tried to reassure anxious residents of Chilliwack on Friday morning by contrasting the isolated flooding impacts Chilliwack has experienced, with the large-scale devastation in Abbotsford.

“I have been hearing from a lot of anxious people who are worried about the current state of affairs,” Mayor Popove said in his situation update on the City of Chilliwack’s Youtube channel on Nov. 19.

Chilliwack is not posting as many updates as Abbotsford simply because the situation is much different, Popove underlined, “and if there is no update, it means the situation has not changed.”

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“People are hearing about the situation in Abbotsford and assuming it means the same thing for Chilliwack. But that is not the case.”

While flooding in Abbotsford does have the potential to impact Yarrow, Popove acknowledged, that is “why our engineers are monitoring the situation in Abbotsford around the clock.”

They stay up-to-date monitoring water levels, dike failures in Abbotsford, and the status of the measures Abbotsford is taking, he said.

Director of Engineering David Blain gave some background on the status of Yarrow flooding, which was the upshot of a dike breach on the Sumas River, due to the Nooksack River in Washington State overtopping its banks.

Since Wednesday the flooded area in Sumas Prairie has spread out.

There are properties around Boundary Road and Sand Road in Yarrow, which have water, Blain said, “but that is the extent of flooding in Yarrow.”

The community of Yarrow remains on evacuation alert after the evacuation order was rescinded.

As Chilliwack monitors the situation, City of Abbotsford is working on whether to repair the breached dike, Blain said, or build a bypass dike.

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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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