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B.C. STORM: 275 people rescued from Agassiz landslides, 500 in warming shelters in Hope

KHSAR delivering evac notices to Rockwell Drive residents

Update: Monday, 5:40 p.m.

The Fraser Valley Regional District has issued an evacuation alert for several properties along the 50900 block ofO’Byrne Road near Slesse Park in Chilliwack.

The FVRD has also issued its own State of Local Emergency along with the District of Kent and Harrison Hot Springs.


Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue will remain active as emergency personnel navigate the landslides and localized flooding throughout Agassiz-Harrison.

KHSAR is currently at limited capacity, reporting two vehicles and a swiftwater raft have been trapped by a landslide on Rockwell Drive near Harrison Hot Springs. KHSAR volunteers are delivering evacuation notices to residents along Rockwell Drive on foot after transporting voluntters to Rockwell Place via boat.


The District of Kent has fully activated the Emergency Operation Centre due to significant flooding and multiple landslides.

Rockwell Drive near Harrison Hot Springs has been closed up to Lillooet Road in both directions.

The district confirmed approximately 275 people are being rescued by Canada Task Force 1 (CAN-TF1) helicopters between the slide areas and have been flown to the reception centre at Agassiz Agricultural Hall to rest and recover.

Fraser-Cascade School District superintendent Balan Moorthy said more than 500 rescued travellers utilized Hope Secondary School as a warming shelter.

District of Kent officials advise residents to take appropriate measures to protect their homes such as using sump pumps and sandbags; sandbags were made available at Centennial Park.

Those who need parking at higher ground may use the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre in Agassiz. Avoid parking near trees as high winds and high ground saturation could cause trees to fall over and damage vehicles.


The Village of Harrison Hot Springs is asking all residents to limit their use of water and wastewater for the next 24 hours due to the atmospheric river pushing the sewer and storm water systems to capacity.

“We ask that you refrain from unnecessary use of showers, laundry, dishwashers, and excessive flushing of toilets,” the village stated in a Facebook post late Monday morning. “Do not discharge storm water into the sanitary sewer system.”

The District of Kent has announced there are sandbags available at Centennial Park. Residents are asked to bring their own shovel and take only what is necessary.

For more information, contact Municipal Hall at 604-796-2235.


The Village of Harrison Hot Springs has declared a state of local emergency (SOLE) due to localized flooding, which will be in effect until Monday, Nov. 22.

The SOLE streamlines government requests for aid and allows for urgency of coordination between agencies to delivery aid and perform rescue operations to mitigate damage and help anyone in need.

The last time village officials made such a declaration was during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Agassiz-Harrison residents are bracing for further rain as the atmospheric river rolls through.

According to Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth, between 80 and 100 vehicles are trapped between two landslides along Highway 7 near Agassiz. The Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Task Force has been dispatched to the area. The HUSAR team specializes in rescuing victims of major structural collapse and other hazards. The Observer has reached out to the team for an update.

Locals have set up a Facebook group for those stranded along the highway between Hope and Agassiz called “Stuck on 7.” The group is designed to help those in need and pool supplies.

A number of area highways are closed due to flooding and landslides, including B.C. Highway 1, Agassiz to Spences Bridge

and the Coquihalla from Hope to Merritt. The Lougheed Highway is also closed between Agassiz and Harrison Mills.

Hot Springs Road, the highway artery leading in and out of Harrison Hot Springs, is covered with running water, as are many side streets throughout the village and District of Kent. Residents report Harrison Lake has filled with trees and debris from the flooding.

The District of Kent has declared a state of local emergency following a landslide the threatened people and property in the 6500 block of Rockwell Drive. A statement from Mayor Sylvia Pranger issued early Monday morning confirmed verbal evacuation notices to residents in the area just outside of Harrison Hot Springs. All other residents in the area are on evacuation alert.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has issued a flood watch warning for the district. A landslide caused both lanes of Rockwell Drive and the Lougheed Highway at Seabird Island bluffs to close.

Elsewhere, the Fraser Valley Regional District has issued an evacuation order for Camperland RV Resort in Rosedale due to heavy rainfall, flooding and mudslides.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is working closely with Emil Anderson to assess the roadway and determine reopening times.

The river is expected to peak on Monday and forecasted river levels are expected to fall within the capacity of the dike system. District staff will continue to monitor the situation.


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About the Author: Adam Louis

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