Abbotsford Flood: The mayor says Sumas Prairie could remain under water for weeks


Vancouver –

The Abbotsford mayor says “it may be weeks” before all floodwater is pumped out of the East Sumas Prairie.

Mayor Henry Braun told reporters Thursday that rain on the south coast has slowed down the city’s Barrowtown pump station in an effort to remove water from the flooded area, but the water level did not rise Thursday.

“It will be weeks before we pump all the water out of the still flooded part of the Sumas Prairie,” Braun said.

The first of the three hurricanes currently on the province and the other two on the way, the mayor is concerned that much of the flooding from Washington’s Nooksack River could move north through Abbotsford and undo much work. To drain pasture last week.

“Over the past week, we have made every effort to ensure that we are as prepared as possible in the event of a worst-case scenario, and we will continue to experience flood water moving north from Washington State,” Brown said.

The mayor explained that in dry conditions, the pump station “reduces the water level in the lawn by six to eight inches per day.”

“This is, of course, affected by any rain and runoff from the Vedder and Sumas Mountains, but like I said, we’re still moving in a positive direction,” Brown said.

All Sumas Prairie is under the “Do not use water” instruction because major violations of water can allow contaminated flooding to the drinking water system in the area.

According to Brown, those violations were under water on the eastern side of the prairie. The mayor said the repair and environmental assessments of those violations of flooded areas will not be completed until all flood waters are reduced.

Additional pumps have been brought in to drain the water from the former Sumas Lake bed, but they are less efficient than the Barrowtown pump station, he said.

“They pump 25,000 gallons per minute, which is a small fraction of the Barrowtown pumps,” Braun said. “There are no pumps to replace the barrowtown or the pumps close to where the barrowtown is pumping. They are full out. We have not driven those pumps in full-tilt for this long, so we have crossed them with the fingers.”

Barotown Pump Station is used to dry the bottom of the former lake. It pumps water into the Sumas Prairie and the Fraser River. The station has flood gates blocking the Sumas River at the intersection of Fraser. Those gates were opened last week to make it feasible once Fraser retreated.


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