Abbotsford on high alert as atmospheric river hits the region

Jan 12 2022, 12:27 am

The City of Abbotsford is warning of possible downpours and flash floods as another atmospheric river hits BC.

In a statement, the City says it is “currently as prepared as it can be for the forecasted atmospheric river.”

“We still have all the emergency mitigation measures in place from last year’s events. The repairs to the dykes have all been completed, including increasing the height of the dyke by half a metre for a seven-kilometre stretch between Atkinson Road and Barrowtown to provide additional protection to the pump station. The added height to the dykes also means there is more water storage capacity than there was pre-flood.”


City of Abbotsford Flooding in November/YouTube

At this point, there are no concerns that the Nooksack River in Washington State will burst its banks, but crews in Abbotsford are closely watching modelling from Whatcom County.

There is still no indication of just how hard the Fraser Valley community could be hit by the heavy rains, but there is, of course, worry after the devastating flooding in November.

The City says it will be closely monitoring Clayburn Creek in Historic Clayburn Village due to high levels of sediment in the creek, though sandbags are still in place there.

Sediment was removed after the first atmospheric river in November, but the second and third atmospheric rivers brought even more sediment to the creek and the City says it is “still waiting on approval from the Province to remove it.”

“We submitted a request to remove the sediment before Christmas, as we need authorization to do any work in creeks, but are unable to clear out the sediment without provincial approval, which we still haven’t received. With snow melt on Sumas Mountain and heavy rains, conditions could change quickly, so we will be monitoring the situation throughout this weather event.”

The rainfall warning remains in place for the region, and a forecast from Environment Canada calls for up to 150 mm of rain in parts of the Fraser Valley.

abbotsford weather

Abbotsford weather/Environment Canada

Pre-filled sandbags, along with additional bags and loads of sand, are currently available at Albert Dyck Park.

They are also available in Clayburn Village for people living in that area.

Amanda WawrykAmanda Wawryk

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