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Hundreds in Abbotsford still under flood evacuation order

Assessments of infrastructure are continuing on roads, bridges and culverts as they resurface.
FILE PHOTO: Catastrophic flooding in Abbotsford has receded but hundreds are still out of their homes.

Another section of the Sumas Prairie is out from under the evacuation order put in place almost a month ago, but Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun estimates "a couple of hundred properties" are still under the order for the lake bottom region.

"As with the North and Central areas that had their evacuation orders lifted earlier this week, the South area remains under evacuation alert at this time," he said during a press conference Dec. 8.

Meanwhile, water continues to be drained from the former lake bottom, as water levels have dropped by another 20 inches over the last two days.

"We've completed all rapid damage assessments of structures including houses, barns and garages," Braun added.

Assessments of infrastructure are continuing on roads, bridges and culverts as they resurface.

With the floodwaters covering fields for weeks and potentially carrying contaminants, Braun says there's a concern about when farmers will be able to harvest again.

"I am concerned about the farmers who weren't able to harvest their cold crops," Braun told media. "They're going to be without revenue and I've said this, if it takes a year or two till that soil, they're not going to have any revenue for a couple of years."

The city has also started the disinfectant process for the prairie area's drinking water, but the do not use order is still in place. The water in the system can only be used for flushing in toilets, Braun said, but the process to return the system to working order is underway.

Potable water stations are being opened up for those in the area.

At the same time, due to contamination potentially seeping into private wells in the area Fraser Health has resources for those concerned.