Sandbags in Huntingdon Village keep floodwaters from topping the railway tracks in the area of Second Avenue and Boundary Road on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford mayor says city in ‘good shape’ before next major rainfall

Henry Braun says flood levels have remained stable ahead of next weather system

Flood levels in Abbotsford remained stable overnight, and Mayor Henry Braun says he is confident the city can make it through the next major rainfall.

However, an evacuation order remains in effect for Huntingdon Village, where there is approximately two feet of water in the area of Second Avenue and Boundary Road.

“At four o’clock in the morning, it was dry. I was out there myself. This is the water that we were expecting from the Nooksack River overflow yesterday,” Braun said at the city’s daily press conference on Monday afternoon (Nov. 29).

Military personnel and volunteers were in Huntingdon Village for much of Sunday, filling and piling sandbags along the railroad tracks to keep the expected overflow from reaching homes in the area. As of 2 p.m. Monday, the water had not topped the sandbags.

Braun said, in speaking with officials in Whatcom County, the flooding is still active across the border, and Abbotsford will continue to experience flooding over the next few days “from water stored in fields upstream of the road crossings at the border.”

RELATED: Water levels rising in Abbotsford’s Huntingdon Village

But Braun was mostly optimistic, saying the floodwaters from the Nooksack River did not reach the eastern Sumas Prairie – the hardest hit area of Abbotsford.

The floodgates, which had to be closed Sunday at the Barrowtown Pump Station, are now open again, allowing the Sumas River to funnel into the Fraser River.

“The water levels in the flooded portion of Sumas Prairie lake bed remained stable with an overall decrease of two inches over the last 24 hours,” Braun said.

He said there is still eight to 10 inches of water running south to north over Vye Road east of Sumas Way, and Vye Road was closed again early Monday morning.

Braun said the 120 millimetres of rain that Abbotsford experienced over the weekend didn’t have as big an impact as had been expected because the water from the U.S. side didn’t arrive as quickly as anticipated.

“We were told that we could expect it in shorter time than the flood of 2020, and that in five or six hours it could be here. It took, I think, 19 hours to get here.”

Another atmospheric river is expected to hit the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Braun said he feels “very comfortable” about how it will impact the area.

“Everything is holding up so I think we’re in good shape,” he said.

RELATED: Samaritan’s Purse sending disaster relief unit to Abbotsford

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