BC declares provincial state of emergency after devastating floods, mudslides

Nov 17 2021, 8:56 pm

The provincial government has declared a state of emergency over the devastating floods and mudslides occurring across British Columbia.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by Premier John Horgan, who was joined by Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Flemming.

“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for British Columbians as we’ve experienced yet another natural disaster,” Horgan said. “As of noon today, the government is declaring a state of emergency.”

“The order will preserve basic access to services and supplies for communities across the province.”

There will also be travel restrictions in place to ensure that transportation of essential goods and medical and emergency services are able to reach communities that need them.

“Please do not hoard items,” he added. “What you need, your neighbours need as well.”

Horgan adds that BC has formally requested the deployment of federal resources, including armed forces. They will assist with managing evacuations, supply chains and re-supply chains, security in inundated areas, and restoration of clean drinking water.

Multiple highways also remain closed and while crews are assessing damage, conditions are severe and safety for workers is the highest priority.

“This means essential and emergency access will be limited in the days ahead,” Horgan says. “Already strained supply lines are at risk of greater disruption.”

He’s confident, however, that supply chains can be restored in a “quick and effective manner.”

Farnworth also addressed the state of emergency, adding that measures could be used to prohibit non-essential travel, hoarding, and price-gouging.

“This declaration will allow us to implement any provincial emergency measures and allow access to all assets that may be necessary to prevent, respond, or alleviate the effects of an emergency,” he said. “In short, we will be doing everything possible.”

More to come… 

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