Year in Review: pictures of the devastating flooding in British Columbia

A once in 500 year event?
The province experienced many weather extremes in 2021
Volunteers assessed homes in Merritt
Volunteers evaluated damage to homes
Canadian soldiers were sent to B.C. to assist authorities
RCAF was deployed
18,000 people were stranded
The most expensive disaster in Canadian history
Increased rescue efforts as floodwaters receeded
Vancouver's port and many towns were cut off
Abbotsford, among the hardest hit
More than 1,200 farms affected
The farms supply half of British Columbia's poultry, eggs, and dairy
Farmers were hit hard
Farmers are tried their best to save animals
Using jet skis and boats to herd and tow animals
Record-breaking rainfall caused deadly mudslides
Prime Minister Trudeau promised full assitance to the region
Vancouver was cut off from the rest of Canada
Residents had to cross through the US
Canada Border Services made exceptions on COVID requirements
PCR tests were not be required
Four dead
More than a month's worth of rainfall in 48hrs
An
Thousands forced to evacuate
State of emergency for safety and to ensure delivery of essential goods
Everyone in the province was affected
Thousands of displaced evacuees
Many were stuck in the city of Hope
Lack of supplies had people desperate to leave the city
Repairing the damage to roads was a long process
Routes to Vancouver were the priority
A once in 500 year event?

Some called the flooding and landslides caused by the incredible amount of rain that fell in the province on the 14th and 15th of November "a once in 500 years event."

The province experienced many weather extremes in 2021

Undoubtedly, British Columbia is THE Canadian province that experienced the most extreme weather in 2021.

Volunteers assessed homes in Merritt

Merritt was hugely affected by the flooding, volunteers worked non-stop conducting a damage assessment of the homes.

Photo: screenshot Global News

"...unfortunately, homes and vehicles have been destroyed."

Mayor Linda Brown gave a video update on Meritt following the flooding and said, “The south of the city looks different from how you last saw it. Streets have been damaged. The Middlesborough Bridge has collapsed. The river has been re-routed. And unfortunately, homes and vehicles have been destroyed."

Photo: screenshot Global News

Volunteers evaluated damage to homes

Volunteers were essential in Meritt for assisting in assessing damage to homes.

Canadian soldiers were sent to B.C. to assist authorities

Canadian soldiers arrived in British Columbia to assist the local authorities with their needs and to aid with the massive damage caused by the flooding.

RCAF was deployed

Here we see a picture shared by the Royal Canadian Air Force of soldiers leaving Edmonton on their way to Abbotsford.

18,000 people were stranded

The flooding and mudslides that devastated British Columbia left 18,000 people stranded.

The most expensive disaster in Canadian history

Some say this may have been the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history.

Increased rescue efforts as floodwaters receeded

As the floodwaters receded on rescue workers were able to increase their efforts.

Vancouver's port and many towns were cut off

The downpour blocked off access to Canada's largest port in Vancouver, and multiple towns on the Pacific coast were cut off.

Abbotsford, among the hardest hit

Among the places hardest hit by the flooding was Abbotsford, one of Canada's most important farming areas.

More than 1,200 farms affected

There are more than 1,200 farms in the area, and thousands of farm animals died, and many more were trapped.

The farms supply half of British Columbia's poultry, eggs, and dairy

This significantly impacted the supply chain in the province since these farms supply half of the poultry, eggs, and dairy consumed by the 5.2 million residents of British Columbia.

Farmers were hit hard

Farmers in British Columbia had a really difficult year, first due to the drought and forest fires that ravaged the province in the summer, and then the flooding.

Farmers are tried their best to save animals

Farmers and residents tryied desperately to save their animals from the floodwater.

Photo: screenshot Channel 4 News

Using jet skis and boats to herd and tow animals

In some cases, farmers attempted to herd the animals or tow the animals with jet skis and motorboats.

Photo: screenshot Channel 4 News

"British Columbians coming together supporting each other."

Mike Farnworth, the deputy premier of British Columbia, gave an emotional speech at a press conference regarding the flooding. Trying to contain his tears, Mr. Farnworth said, “The positive I’m going to take out of this is that it had shown British Colombians coming together supporting each other. Canadians are supporting our province that we are one big family and absolutely that to me is something that we all instinctively know..."

Photo: screenshot Global News

"...a terrible disaster but...we stick together."

Mr. Farnsworth continued, “This has been a terrible, terrible disaster, but I know this: As British Columbians, as Canadians, we stick together. I want to come out of this. I’m going to build a stronger, better province and a stronger and better country.”

Photo: screenshot CBC News

Record-breaking rainfall caused deadly mudslides

According to CBC News, record-breaking rainfall  mudslides caused hundreds of residents in the Lower Mainland to become stranded or blocked from essential services.

 

Prime Minister Trudeau promised full assitance to the region

Major highways and railways were cut off, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised full assistance to the region and troops to help rebuild.

Vancouver was cut off from the rest of Canada

The city of Vancouver was totally cut off by road from the rest of Canada as a result of the main highways being closed due to the mudslides and flooding.

Residents had to cross through the US

Until the highway was opened, the only way for Vancouverites to access the rest of the province of British Columbia or Canada was to go through the United States.

Canada Border Services made exceptions on COVID requirements

Fortunately, the Canada Border Services Agency released a statement that they would be waiving COVID-19 requirements for Canadians that must pass through the United States to get home.

Photo: Instagram@canborder

PCR tests were not be required

Canadian travelers did not need to complete the COVID-19 pre-arrival test, take a test in Canada or fulfil quarantine requirements.

Four dead

At least four people lost their lives due to the horrendous flooding experienced in the province.

 

More than a month's worth of rainfall in 48hrs

The region received more rainfall it would typically have in a month in a mere 48 hours due to an “atmospheric river.”

An "atmospheric river" was the cause of the intense rain

An “atmospheric river” is water transported from tropical areas towards the poles in a long strip of moisture trapped in the air.

Thousands forced to evacuate

CBC News reported that thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes due to the storm.

Photo: screenshot CBC News

State of emergency for safety and to ensure delivery of essential goods

A state of emergency was put in place not only to keep the public safe but also to ensure that nothing would impede the transportation of essential goods where they are most needed.

Everyone in the province was affected

The province's Premier, Mr. Horgan, said, "There's not a person that hasn't been affected or will not be affected by the events of this past weekend." The Premier then added, "These events are increasing in frequency due to human-caused climate change."

Photo: screenshot from The Globe and Mail

Thousands of displaced evacuees

According to CBC News, there were thousands of displaced evacuees in over twenty evacuations centers scattered across the province of B.C.

Photo: screenshot CBC Vancouver

Many were stuck in the city of Hope

The city of Hope took in the most people, hosting 1,100 evacuees who have been cut off from the Lower Mainland.

Photo: screenshot Global National News

Lack of supplies had people desperate to leave the city

The evacuees were desperate to get out of Hope as resources and medicine were dwindling. Global News reported that those stuck in the municipality were willing to pay thousands of dollars to be flown out.

Photo: screenshot Global National News

Repairing the damage to roads was a long process

Many major roads and highways were affected and it was a long process to reopen them.

Routes to Vancouver were the priority

When the entire city of Vancouver became isolated due to the flooding, opening roads to and from the city became a priority.

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