Chilliwack – NOVEMBER 18 UPDATE – The community of Yarrow remains under evacuation alert as a precaution in case water levels start to rise more rapidly. The water rose approximately 150mm (6 inches) today. The key issue is the floodbox at the Barrowtown pump station. If the Fraser River continues to recede then the floodbox can be opened and the water levels throughout the basin will stabilize then start to fall. City staff are on site 24 hours a day monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of residents.
From FVRD Chair Jason Lum, also City Councilor and Yarrow Resident:
City of Chilliwack staff will continue to monitor water levels in Yarrow overnight. There has not been a significant rise in water registered since noon. I was personally at Sand Road at 6:00 pm this evening and the water had not crested the road, and only risen slightly since noon. It is important to understand – we expect the water to continue to rise slowly – and there are some houses that are currently under our evacuation order that we believe will be affected. That is why we kept them under order. Earlier this evening there was a community driven sand bagging effort for local Yarrow residents who are experiencing high waters on the western side of town. I want to thank Darnell Barkman and the wonderful volunteers who bagged sand and assisted a number of homes and farms who requested sand bags. Although the City provided sand – this was a community organizing effort! The Barrowtown flood gates have not been opened yet, as the river level on the Fraser has not dropped to the level it needs to be in order to open the gates. The pump station is still operating at full capacity and doing its job. We are hoping the gates can be opened tomorrow. There are a lot of anxious people who are worried about the current state of affairs – I’m appealing to you to monitor City of Chilliwack sites for accurate Chilliwack information. We will post updates if the situation changes. If we don’t post information – it means the situation has not changed for Chilliwack. We have staff working around the clock monitoring the levels, and we have a incredible team of engineers and environmental services specialists, as well as emergency services personnel whose job it is to keep us safe. They have been doing so, as well as working overtime to support our neighbours in Abbotsford as well. Your safety is paramount. We would not have rescinded the evacuation order if we were not confident that returning back to Yarrow was safe. This doesn’t mean we let our guard down, it means stay diligent, not fearful. Spreading misinformation, or uninformed/unconfirmed information undermines our ability to keep you safe. Let me be clear – If we start to see any issues of concern we have folks at the ready to notify and help get people to safety. I also want to note that I am using this social media account to re-post updates from the Fraser Valley Regional District. In addition to my role on Council, I am the Chair of the FVRD – which now has 5 active emergency orders in place. Each evacuation order has maps and addresses of the affected properties. To avoid confusion I will start to label my posts as either FVRD or City of Chilliwack updates. I will continue to post updates as I receive them. Please take care of yourselves, and your loved ones!City of Chilliwack Official Page:https://www.chilliwack.com/main/page.cfm?id=2998Fraser Valley Regional District Page:https://www.fvrd.ca/…/emergency-operations-centre-eoc.html