Nearly 6 feet of water drained from Sumas Prairie over the weekend

More evacuation orders have been lifted

A road in Abbotsford now above water after the Sumas Prairie flood in 2021. A tractor tire can be seen just at the surface | Photo: City of Abbotsford

The Barrowtown pump station drained almost six feet of water from the Sumas Prairie over the weekend, the mayor of Abbotsford announced Monday. 

Some roads are resurfacing in the area, says Henry Braun; however, fields remain flooded, as they're at a lower level than the roads.

For the central area of Sumas Prairie, that means evacuation orders have been lifted. Last Friday (Dec. 3), the city lifted the evacuation order for the northern region.

The southern and lake-bottom areas remain under an evacuation order, three weeks after the flooding began. Braun says it'll still be some time before some parts are accessible.

During Monday's press conference, Braun shared a photo of a road in the Sumas Prairie lake bottom; substantial damage can be seen, along with a tire from a tractor sticking out of the water.

"To me, this image belies the importance for everyone of ensuring they follow evacuation orders and stay out of areas that are not yet open and cleared by our city teams," Braun says. "No one knows what may be just underneath the floodwaters."

For those beginning to return home, Braun noted Samaritan's Purse is assisting in a variety of ways, including helping clean out mud or damaged furniture from homes.

During the press conference, Braun was asked about looting, including a winery where some barrels were allegedly stolen. Braun said he's only heard about some police barriers being stolen.

The continued recovery effort means he also extended the local state of emergency.

Braun said the recent cold weather actually helped, as it slowed the movement of snowmelt from higher regions into the Fraser Valley.

In other good news, Highway 11 has partially opened, with one lane open in each direction.

Vancouver Is Awesome