B.C. storm update: Latest on evacuations, road closures, power outages

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‘It’s a very eerie and helpless feeling,’ says man trapped in his vehicle between two landslides on Highway 7 near Agassiz.

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An “atmospheric river” hit southern B.C. on Sunday, dumping huge amounts of rain across the region and causing widespread flooding, mudslides and rockslides. Watch this file for updates and follow …

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• For the latest road closures, check this DriveBC list.
• For the latest weather warnings, check this Environment Canada page.
• For the latest transit updates, follow TransLink on Twitter
• For the latest on power outages, check out B.C Hydro’s outages page.
• And follow the Twitter hashtag #bcstorm.


By the numbers

Torrential rain that set off flooding and mudslides in southern B.C. closed highways, trapped people in vehicles and forced the evacuation of some communities. Here’s a look at some numbers:

275 people, including 50 children: number of people who were trapped between two landslides on Highway 7.
225 mm: rain measured in Hope, since a storm began Saturday.
344 mm: average rainfall for the entire month of November in Hope.
250 mm: rainfall predicted for the eastern Fraser Valley by Monday.
7,000: estimated number of people evacuated from Merritt, due to rising Coldwater River.
3.1 metres: estimated height of the Coldwater River.
24: estimated number of closures on B.C. highways due to rock or mudslides and flooding.
Up to 50 cm: amount of snow predicted for the East Columbia, Kinbasket and Yellowhead regions because of the same Pacific frontal system hitting the south coast.

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— Canadian Press


In photos

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The Latest…

Monday

3:45 p.m.

CN Rail has confirmed a washout led to two railcars derailing at 6:30 p.m.on Sunday near Yale in the Fraser Canyon. There were no injuries, fire or spills and no dangerous good involved.

“CN’s crews are ready to safely tend to the affected sites but await a stabilization of conditions to begin the work. CN will continue to monitor the affected sites and will begin construction efforts once it is deemed safe to do so,” the company said in a prepared statement.

3:30 p.m.

A bright yellow Canadian Forces Cormorant chopper was seen dropping people off near the Agassiz community centre on Monday afternoon before taking off for another rescue trip.

“The current operational priority is evacuating those trapped between the slides, and Canadian Forces Cormorant helicopters are
starting the first of multiple rescue flights between the slide area and a reception centre in Agassiz,” a government press release said.

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The mudslides rolled over the highway during an “atmospheric river” that brought a deluge of rain to parts of the province and
forced an evacuation order in the Interior town of Merritt on Monday.

Canadian Press

2:45 p.m.

Heavy rain in Metro Vancouver is easing, only to be replaced by high and gusty winds. Merritt’s wastewater treatment plant has failed, with all residents being asked not to use their bathrooms.

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth is expected to make a statement to the media at 4 p.m.

Hammering rainfall, floods and mudslides are causing power outages in a total of 45,000 homes and businesses in the province, according to B.C. Hydro.

“The Lower Mainland has been hit the hardest and it’s changing by the hour,” said spokesperson Kyle Donaldson, noting that winds expected to kick this afternoon have the Crown corporation preparing for that number to rise.

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Hope and Spuzzum currently have the most customers, nearly 5,000, without power.

There, B.C. Hydro crews worked through the night Sunday to restore service but as the storm raged on, a second outage thwarted all their efforts.

“A nasty mudslide Sunday at 5 p.m. had knocked out critical infrastructure,” said Donaldson said. “After we connected residents there to a different circuit, it was compromised by those landslides on Lougheed Highway.”

At this rate, there’s no telling when the power will be back on, Donaldson said. “Flooding on the roads is limiting B.C. Hydro crews ability to get to the transmission lines.”

Others in the Lower Mainland have also been left without power due to damage from the storm, including thousands of customers in both Langley and Chilliwack.

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Extreme weather has also prompted flood alerts for residents living downstream of BC Hydro reservoirs in Coquitlam, Wahleach and Alouette.

“Staff is working to manage water levels from Cheakamus near Squamish and Stave Lake and may issue alerts for those reservoirs later today,” Donaldson said.

— David Carrigg and Sarah Growchoski

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2:30 p.m.

Across the border, Whatcom County is experiencing major creek and river flooding.

Seattle is under a flood watch through Monday afternoon, and strong winds are possible, with gusts topping 80 km/h. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport clocked a gust to 93km/h Monday morning.

West of Seattle, near the Washington state coastline, gusts reaching 104 km/h are possible because of a “STRONG westerly surge,” according to the National Weather Service.

A handful of school delays and cancellations were reported Monday because of the inclement weather, including the closure of all schools in Bellingham. Officials cited flooded roads and dangerous driving conditions, “which impacts many staff, students and families and their ability to get to school and work safely.”

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Unlike most atmospheric rivers, which feature a longer-duration lighter, steadier rain, this one was dumping rainfall at impressive rates topping a half-inch per hour.

— Washington Post

1:20 p.m.

Flooding in Abbotsford’s Sumas Prairie area has forced the evacuation of some livestock as barns and fields have been swamped by the rising Sumas River and other smaller waterways.

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Karl Meier told Postmedia he was evacuating his dairy herd. He was too busy trying to save his animals to speak further.

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Down the road from Meier’s farm at the Cole Road rest area, motorists trying to avoid heavy traffic on Highway 1 were detouring into the waterlogged prairie, where several roads are impassable due to the high water.

Taxi driver Paul Tapp said the water had come up the side of his car, forcing him to turn around.

Jody Smith, who is living in her RV at the rest area, was grateful for mild temperatures as she ran out of propane last night.

“It could have been cold, it could have been freezing. Although it is hard, I’m able to live without propane right now,” she said.

Chicken farmer Grant Notenbomer said the water has been steadily rising in the Vedder canal on the Abbotsford-Chiliwack border, reaching levels similar to the spring snowmelt in a matter of hours.

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As he drove through the Sumas Prairie, which was a lake before it was drained in the 1920s to create more farmland, he saw irrigation ditches overflowing their banks and whitecaps where there once were green fields.

“I trust the dyke system, but the rain has been relentless,” he said.

— Glenda Luymes

11:30 a.m. 

Canada Task Force 1 has been deployed to Agassiz to aid in a massive evacuation effort, following two separate landslides that hit Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope Sunday evening.

About 275 people, including 50 children, were trapped overnight on a two-kilometre stretch between the two slides, according to CAN-TF1.

Agassiz Fire Department responded to the slides along with Hope SAR Sunday night and rescued 12 people, whose vehicles were trapped by debris, according to a CAN-TF1 bulletin Monday.

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Those who were trapped in vehicles were advised to shelter in place overnight as the debris was unstable and unsafe to cross.

A reconnaissance team including CAN-TF1, Chilliwack SAR, and a geotechnical engineer are surveying the area from the air to assess the debris and determine if additional victims may be trapped in the debris.

CAN-TF1 says the priority is evacuating those trapped between the slides, and Canadian Forces Cormorant helicopters are starting the first of multiple rescue flights between the slide area and a reception centre in Agassiz.

CAN-TF1 has a team of 34 members in the slide area to coordinate and triage the air evacuation, while Agassiz Fire Department is managing care once at the reception centre.

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— Tiffany Crawford

11:20

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11:15 a.m.

There’s not much along the mountainous stretch of highway between Agassiz and Hope, just a few houses and a Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation art gallery.

But when two landslides landlocked more than 80 drivers and families along the road Sunday night, the gallery immediately opened its doors to any strangers in need.

“We are so grateful,” said Angel Claypool, her husband, and two teenage children, ages 13 and 15, who were fed in the early hours of Monday and now sit nestled together in the parking lot.

The family had spent more than 12 sleepless hours stationary in their truck on rain-drenched Highway 7 before hunger set in and they went back in search of food or water.

“We turned back on the eastbound lane – there were no gas stations, grocery stores, no nothing, but we saw the Sq’ewá:lxw building had its lights on,” the mother said.

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As soon as the family pulled up near the gallery Claypool and her children were offered a warm place to sit and a breakfast of toast, oatmeal, coffee and water.

“We feel safe here and plan on staying until help comes,” Claypool said. “When we left relatives in 100 Mile House it was clear skies and dry roads. We only packed snacks thinking it would be a normal commute home.”

Dozens of other cars are now parked outside of the First Nations building. Some stayed in the building overnight, sleeping on mattresses laid out. Others popped by for a time to stay warm.

“We’re trying to stay positive for our kids,” Claypool said, mentioning the Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation is running low on food and supplies to offer stranded motorists.

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“I hope the government figures out how to get us out or bring in supplies.”

— Sarah Growchoski

A car sits in a pool of water in the closed intersection of Old Yale Road and Mitchell Street in Abbotsford on Nov. 15, 2021. Two days of rains have flooded, closed or washed out many roads in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.
A car sits in a pool of water in the closed intersection of Old Yale Road and Mitchell Street in Abbotsford on Nov. 15, 2021. Two days of rains have flooded, closed or washed out many roads in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. Photo by Mike Bell /PNG

11 a.m.

Abbotsford has declared a seven-day state of emergency due to extreme rainfall that’s led to a number of mudslides and localized flooding across the city.

Evacuation orders have been issued for several residents on Straiton Road, according to a statement the city released Monday morning. Homes in the Clayburn, Eagle Mountain, Ten Oaks, Sumas Prairie, Straiton, and Matsqui Village areas are under evacuation alert.

“All city resources are currently engaged in mitigating these emergencies including Abbotsford Police, Fire Rescue, engineering and public workers,” said the statement.

“This is essential in order to help protect the health, safety and welfare of people in Abbotsford and their property.”

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No injuries have been reported.

— Sarah Growchoski

Photos of Bouwman Road in Abbotsford, where a drainage ditch has overtopped the road. Credit: Glenda Luymes
Photos of Bouwman Road in Abbotsford, where a drainage ditch has overtopped the road. Credit: Glenda Luymes Photo by Glenda Luymes /PNG

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10:30 a.m.

The entire city of Merritt, which has a population of more than 7,000, is now on evacuation order.

The city said flood waters have washed out two bridges across the Coldwater River, and flood waters prevent access to a third.

High flood waters have led to a failure of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and residents are not allowed to use the water.

Residents are being asked to make plans to stay with friends or family outside the region.

Anyone who does not have somewhere to stay is asked to go to Kelowna or Kamloops, where emergency shelters have been set up.

The Kamloops ESS Reception Centre is located at 1655 Island Parkway while the Kelowna ESS Reception Centre is located at 1800 Parkinson Way.

Evacuees can register online  https://ess.gov.bc.ca/  or contact 1-800-585-9559 for more information.

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A video posted on Twitter shows a mobile home floating down a river.

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Abbotsford’s Angela Howard says there’s “no turning around” for her and her two young children who are stuck in their car as landslides trap them between Agassiz and Hope Monday morning.

“Nobody can get in or out at all,” the mother messaged Postmedia from her car, admitting she’s “not in a state of mind” to speak over the phone.

“I’m here with my four- and six-year-old,” Howard said. “It’s been more than 24 hours since the trio first set off for their drive home to Abbotsford from 100 Mile House. “They are getting scared and it’s getting hard to stay strong for them.”

The children were forced to sleep in car seats Sunday night as rain and wind beat down on their vehicle, parked along Highway 7. The mother has been careful to conserve the gas in her vehicle by only turning on her car for a few minutes to warm her kids.

The mother, however, didn’t get much sleep, she has been awake with worry, waiting on the government or first responders to announce a safety plan.

Howard isn’t sure how many others are in the same situation as her – she says it’s too windy and rainy to be outside long enough to find out. At a news conference early Monday, Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth estimated there were up to 100 families or individuals trapped in cars along the highway.

“My heart breaks listening to my kids for water and food and I have nothing to provide for them,” Howard said. “When we got stuck at the Boston bar slide we stopped at a gas station Sunday at 2 p.m. and got a coffee and water, not realizing that was our last chance.”

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Howard, like many others who are stuck on the highway, has resorted to collecting rainwater to stay hydrated.

“We have baggies propped up to collect rain,” she said.

Farnworth said search and rescue teams mobilized early this morning but they are being hampered by the weather.

— Sarah Growchoski

9:15 a.m. 

High winds from B.C.’s rainstorm have knocked out power for thousands of residents and forced the cancellation of some ferry sailings.

BC Ferries says the 10:15 a.m. sailing departing Tsawwassen and the 12:45 p.m. sailing departing Duke Point have been cancelled because of the adverse weather.

Meantime, more than 22,000 BC Hydro customers in the Lower Mainland and more than 3,000 on Vancouver Island are without power because of the storm.

BC Hydro says crews are working hard to restore power caused from the heavy rain, flooding and landslides.

— Tiffany Crawford

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9 a.m.

Flooding has caused Merritt’s wastewater treatment plant to fail and close to 2,000 people have been put on evacuation order, said Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth, at a news conference early Monday.

All residents of Merritt have been told they cannot use their water until further notice. There are also evacuation orders and alerts in the Fraser Valley.

He also said there is a possibility of air rescue for the people in the 80 to 100 cars trapped between two landslides on Highway 7 near Agassiz. However, he said that may depend on the storm, which includes high winds Monday.

Janelle Staite, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said they are working with “all hands on deck” and are using extra equipment from construction sites.

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She said geotechnical engineers have been sent to numerous sites where there are landslides, debris and washouts.

The ministry’s priority is to figure out how to get the people trapped between the slides out safely and to ensure B.C.’s roads are cleared, she added.

Farnworth said search and rescue mobilized early this morning but they are being hampered by the weather.

He said they will do everything they can to help those people get supplies and moved to safety.

“It’s daylight now and that work is underway,” he said.

Some of the people have been stuck in their vehicles for more than 14 hours. Some may not have enough food and water and may be running out of gas.

“This is our highest priority,” said Farnworth.

Environment and Climate Change meteorologist Armel Castellan said winds of up to 90 km/h are expected Monday, which could cause more power outages.

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He said the amount of rain has surpassed averages for November in many B.C. communities.

Farnworth added that there will be an assessment of how much flooding and damage has occurred in the province from this storm.

British Columbians are being asked to avoid roads and highways if they can.

— Tiffany Crawford

8:30 a.m. 

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Flooding and landslides have caused mayhem and road closures this morning on B.C.’s South Coast as heavy rain continues to hammer the region, and drivers are being warned to expect delays.

Radio reports say highway 99 is blocked in Richmond because of flooding and traffic is backed up to the George Massey Tunnel.

Drive BC is also reporting numerous closures on the Trans Canada Highway because of flooding and washouts, including on Vancouver Island between Mt. Sicker Road and Somenos Road, south of Chemainus.

Highway 1 is also closed in both directions between Annis Road and Exit 170 for 35 kilometres east of Chilliwack to Hope because of heavy rain and a mudslide, and between Hope and Spences Bridge.

— Tiffany Crawford

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7 a.m.

Adam Wuisman and his girlfriend Brandon Mattin from Richmond have been trapped in their car between two landslides on Highway 7 since 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The couple, who are engaged to be married, spent a sleepless night in their vehicle, though thankfully they have enough gas to keep the heat running.

They were travelling back from Nelson last night when Wuisman said they noticed there were no more cars behind him.

Heavy rain was hammering the vehicle, and although they didn’t see or hear the landslide come down they knew something frightening was happening.

“It was pitch black and we heard a bunch of yelling, noises and screaming,” he said. “There were car horns going off and it was hard to see what was happening,” he said.

“Now that the sun is coming up we can see that the entire road at least 100 metres across is gone,” he said.

“It’s a very eerie and helpless feeling.”

He said his understanding was that a landslide had come down about 30 seconds behind them and then another one happened in front of them, trapping them between the two slides.

Their vehicle is one of up to 100 cars on a two-kilometre stretch that are trapped between the two slides, he said.

“It’s so closed off and isolated. No one can get to us from either side,” he said. “I spent the whole night just looking up at the mountains. There’s really no where you can go for refuge.

As of 7:30 a.m., they were still waiting for help to arrive.

Wuisman said they have water but little food. But he said they were doing OK and still were able to run the car.

“We’re just waiting for some kind of rescue plan at the moment.”

Later in the morning, at around 10:30 a.m., he said they had started to drink rain water. He hadn’t heard of anyone running out of gas yet, but he said folks with food were sharing it with people who have children.

“We do hear the occasional helicopter, but no rescue teams in sight,” he said.

Wuisman said there could be cars trapped under the slide but he doesn’t know for sure. At dawn he saw at least one vehicle crushed by the slide but his understanding was that the occupants had got out of the vehicle.

“It’s hard to tell if there are other vehicles buried in there as well.”

— Tiffany Crawford

Dozens of vehicles were trapped Sunday night between two landslides on Highway 7 near Agassiz.
Dozens of vehicles were trapped Sunday night between two landslides on Highway 7 near Agassiz. Photo by Adam Wuisman /PNG
Dozens of vehicles were trapped Sunday night between two landslides on Highway 7 near Agassiz.
Dozens of vehicles were trapped Sunday night between two landslides on Highway 7 near Agassiz. Photo by Adam Wuisman /PNG

6 a.m.

The Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, a city of Vancouver team that is specifically trained to rescue people from disaster, has been deployed to Highway 7 near Agassiz.

Team director David Boone told CBC News just after midnight that there were six to 10 people trapped. He told the agency that some people inside vehicles survived the initial slide.

Postmedia has reached out to Boone for an update this morning and will post one here as soon as more information is known.

A command centre has been set up at Seabird Island to coordinate the rescue effort for the slides.

— Tiffany Crawford

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Command post set up at the Esso in Seabird Island due to flooding in Fraser Valley.
Command post set up at the Esso in Seabird Island due to flooding in Fraser Valley. Photo by Shane MacKichan
Command post set up at the Esso in Seabird Island due to flooding in Fraser Valley.
Command post set up at the Esso in Seabird Island due to flooding in Fraser Valley. Photo by Shane MacKichan
First responders talk to motorists stuck near Seabird Island due to flooding in Fraser Valley.
First responders talk to motorists stuck near Seabird Island due to flooding in Fraser Valley. Photo by Shane MacKichan

5:30 a.m.

The torrential rain continues for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has posted wind and rainfall warnings this morning, saying up to 180 millimetres of rain is expected for Metro Vancouver and up to 250 millimetres for central and eastern Fraser Valley. by Monday afternoon.

The agency warns that rising freezing levels with melting snow could increase flooding.
The heavy rain is expected to continue this morning and ease this afternoon as the system moves inland.

The agency has also posted a wind warning for the region, with gusts of up to 60 km/h this morning, or up to 90 km/h near the water. High winds may cause tree limbs to break and power outages are possible.

12:30 a.m. 

Evacuation alerts have been issued by the city of Abbotsford’s Emergency Operations Centre for the following areas:

  • Clayburn Area: Clayburn Village and surrounding area
  • Eagle Mountain Areas: Cranberry Court, Briarwood Place, Doneagle Place
  • Ten Oaks: Mount Blanchard Court, Mount Blanchard Drive and Old Clayburn Road
  • Sumas Prairie: Westside of Whatcom Road, East of Huntington Village, Southside of Vye Road
  • Straiton Areas: Dawson Road East of Sumas Mountain Road
  • Matsqui Village: Grace Road North to the Matsqui Slough

Abbotsford is experiencing heavy rainfall that has resulted in several localized emergencies, the city said, in a post shortly after midnight.

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No injuries have been reported.

The city has set-up a reception centre located at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre, located at 2499 McMillan Road for any residents displaced due to the flooding and/or landslide events.

For list of roads closed in the area visit the city’s website. 

Sunday

10:50 p.m.

Reminder: Highway 5 (Coquihalla Hwy) is closed between Hope and Merritt. It’s unlikely to reopen until Monday and the next update won’t be until noon tomorrow.

Parts of Hwy 1 and 7 are also closed, including Hwy 1 between Popkum and Hope and from Hope to Spences Bridge, and Hwy 7 near Hope and west of Agassiz.

For the latest information on road conditions check out DriveBC on Twitter .

10:45 p.m.

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#BREAKING:%20Abbotsford%20Fire%20has%20sent%20out%20evacuation%20alerts%20to%204%20areas%20in%20#AbbotsfordBC%20%5Cu2014%20due%20to%20flooding%20and%20landslides.
%5Cu2022%20Sumas%20Prairie
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<%5C/script>%5Cn%22,%22type%22:%22oembed%22,%22channels%22:%5B%22desktop%22,%22tablet%22,%22phone%22%5D%7D” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Global BC is reporting that the City of Abbotsford has issued evacuation alerts for properties in Sumas Prairie, Clayburn Village, Eagle Mountain and the Dawson Road area.

10:35 p.m.

The Town of Princeton has issued an evacuation order for low-lying properties along the Tulameen River.

Evacuees can head to the reception centre at Riverside Centre, 148 Old Hedley Rd. All traffic is asked to used Hwy 5A and avoid the wooden bridge, which is closed for flooding concerns.

Click here for the complete list of affected properties.

10:29 p.m.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has issued an evacuation order for 34 properties in the Tulameen area because of flooding from the Tulameen River .

RCMP along with search and rescue teams are in the area notifying residents.

Click here for the complete list of affected homes.

10:19 p.m.

B.C. Hydro is reporting a large power outage affecting thousands of homes and businesses in Hope, Spuzzum, Yale, Sunshine Valley, Manning Park and surrounding communities.

The outage was caused by heavy rains and landslides. Crews are out attempting to restore power where safe, but it’s likely people will be without power overnight.

“Crews will continue to work throughout the night to repair damage where possible and safe to do so. Thanks for your patience, we’ll continue to provide updates as they become available,” read a statement on B.C Hydro’s website .

More than 5,000 people are affected.

9:45 p.m.

The City of Abbotsford is on ‘high alert’ after heavy rainfalls caused flooding and mudslides. Emergency personnel and city crews are out Sunday night trying to manage the situation. Several roads remain closed at this time, including:

• Wright Street between Clayburn and Bateman
• Gladwin Street between Downes and Townshipline Road
• Dawson East of Sumas Mountain Road
• Whatcom between Westview and Sandringham
• Cranberry Court
• Briarwood Place
• Lonzo Road at Vedder
• Mckee Road at Clayburn Crescent east of Auguston
• South Fraser Way at Fishtrap Creek
• Bates and Ohland area
• Majuba Hill across Railway

The city is asking that people avoid these areas and do not attempt to drive through the closures. A reception centre is currently operating out the Abbotsford Recreation Centre for any residents who have been displaced because of flooding.

The city will provide an update on the current situation at 10 p.m.

9:05 p.m.

DriveBC has confirmed that Hwy 7 (Lougheed Hwy) is closed to all traffic at Ruby Creek, west of Agassiz because of a mudslide .

Drivers travelling to and from the Lower Mainland should expect major delays as parts of both Hwy 7 and Hwy 1 are closed. Hwy remains closed east of Chilliwack near Popkum to Hope.

Hwy 7 is also closed at Mt. Woodside because of flooding.

8:35 p.m.

Hwy 7 (Lougheed Hwy) is closed in both directions in Maple Ridge between 240 and 272 streets.

DriveBC is also urging drivers travelling on Hwy 1 between Hope and Falls Creek to be extra careful because of the threat of falling debris and flooding.

8:15 p.m.

People are reporting a mudslide has crashed on to Highway 7 (Lougheed Hwy) near Agassiz, blocking traffic in both directions.

It’s believed that some cars may have been hit by falling debris in the area. DriveBC has confirmed there is a vehicle incident in the area and that crews are on the way.

This is only open route between Hope and the Lower Mainland at this time. Hwy 1 remains closed between Hope and Chilliwack.

For those travelling the Fraser Canyon route, Hwy 1 north of Yale has now re-opened.

7:55 p.m.

The City of Abbotsford has added Briarwood Place, Cranberry Court and Doneagle Place, and Lonzo Road at Vedder Way to its growing list of road closures caused by flooding.

Other closures include:

• Wright Street between Clayburn Road and Bateman Road
• Gladwin Road between Downes and Townshipline Road
• Dawson Road east of Sumas Mt Road
• Clayburn Road between Hwy 11 and Wright Street
• Whatcom Road between Westview and Sandringham Road

Follow Abbotsford Police on Twitter for the latest closure updates .

7:40 p.m.

B.C. Hydro is responding to a power outage in Chilliwack affecting 2,450 customers.

Find more information about power outages here .

7:25 p.m.

Columbia SkyTrain station has re-opened after flooding forced it to close earlier this afternoon, according to

7:15 p.m.

Crews are dealing with multiple small mudslides and washouts in Abbotsford Sunday night. So far about 54 to 64 properties have been affected. No injuries have been reported.

The City of Abbotsford has setup a reception centre at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre at 2499 McMillian Rd. for anyone who may have been displaced by flooding, mudslides or washouts.

The city has also closed several roads due to flooding and washouts. Current closures are in effect at:

• Wright Street between Clayburn Road and Bateman Road
• Gladwin Road between Downes and Townshipline Road
• Dawson Road east of Sumas Mt Road
• Clayburn Road between Hwy 11 and Wright Street
• Whatcom Road between Westview and Sandringham Road
• Full closures: Briarwood Place, Cranberry Court and Doneagle Place
• Lonzo Road at Vedder Way

The City of Abbotsford has activated an Emergency Operations Centre to manage the ongoing flooding and heavy rain in the area. Abbotsford Police will be providing updates throughout the evening.

6:24 p.m.

A previous flood watch for the Coquihalla River has been upgraded to a flood warning by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s River Forecast Centre.

A flood warning has also been issued for the Tulameen River and tributaries near Princeton and the Coldwater River near Brookmere (the river runs close to the Coquihalla Highway).

There continues to be a flood watch for the following rivers and waterways:

• Fraser Valley including surrounding tributaries
• Fraser Canyon tributaries, including tributaries around Hope
• Chilliwack River
• Englishman River

5:27 p.m.

The Ministry of Transportation is warning drivers to avoid Highway 1 and the Coquihalla Highway (Hwy. 5) in the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon due to widespread mudslides, rockslides and flooding.

This comes as the Ministry of Environment has issued a flood watch for all waterways in the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon, especially around Hope.

According to latest reports on DriveBC’s Twitter account , the Coquihalla is closed between Hope and Merritt due to a mudslide. This section of highway will not reopen until at least Monday, with drivers being rerouted via Highway 3.

Highway 1 is completely closed east of Chilliwack between Annis Road and Herrling Island, including the turnoff to Highway 9 due to flooding and mudslides.

There is a travel advisory in effect between Lytton and Spences Bridge due to the threat of debris flows from heavy rain on the highway.

Highway 1 is also closed to traffic in both directions between Sicamous and Revelstoke due to rocks on the road.

There is no access to the Sumas Border Crossing as Highway 11 south of Abbotsford is fully closed due to flooding.

There are no set times for re-openings as crews deal with dangerous conditions caused by the heavy rain.

The ministry is asking people to avoid non-essential travel on those highways in affected areas.

The forecast: When will the rain stop?

Rainfall warnings continue Sunday for much of southern B.C., including Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Fraser Canyon, Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

“A significant atmospheric river event will bring copious amounts of rain and near-record temperatures,” said Philippe-Alain Bergeron, a meteorologist with Environment Canada’s Pacific Prediction Centre.

Bergeron said the rain would be heaviest on Sunday afternoon, due to an atmospheric river that’s bringing moisture from the Pacific Ocean.

Up to 100 mm of rain is expected for Metro Vancouver, including in Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford and other parts of the western Fraser Valley. Howe Sound and the eastern Fraser Valley, including Chilliwack and Hope, are forecast to see up to 150 mm.

A cold front is expected to push precipitation out of the region Monday afternoon with 40 to 60km/h winds across Metro Vancouver.

“The danger most people will be facing is more pooling on roads and uprooted trees falling and damaging power lines because their soil has been soaked repeatedly by heavy rains,” Bergeron said.

On Saturday, a total of 50mm of precipitation fell across the Lower Mainland.

Such heavy downpours can cause flash floods and localized flooding in low-lying areas. Watch for possible washouts near rivers, creeks and culverts, Environment Canada warned.

Highlights from #bcstorm

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