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'Critical piece of infrastructure': A look inside the Barrowtown pump station (PHOTOS)

Local state of emergency in Abbotsford in place until Nov. 29.

You've likely heard a lot about the Barrowtown pump station in the last week or so, following the devastating floods in the Fraser Valley.

When floodgates can't open, the "critical piece of infrastructure" is the only way to empty waters from the Sumas Prairie region into the Fraser River.

Volunteers pulled an all-nighter last Tuesday to help sandbag the pump station so it wouldn't flood. That help has been complemented by the Canadian Armed Forces.

Had the pump station flooded, it would have caused "catastrophic" damage, the city said at the time. 

By the early morning hours on Nov. 20, the Fraser River had dropped enough that City of Abbotsford staff could open the floodgates at the Barrowtown pump station, relieving some of the pressure. 

On Sunday, Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun announced the breach on the Sumas River dike had been repaired. Despite the improvements, the city's local state of emergency remains in place until Nov. 29.

"With all the good news, we are still a long way from being out of danger," Braun said.

With a file from Nicholas Johansen