The evacuation order has been lifted for the south area of Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford.
Mayor Henry Braun made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 8).
This is the third of the four Sumas Prairie areas that have had the orders rescinded since last Friday as floodwaters continue to recede. (The first order lifted was for the north area, while the order for the central portion were rescinded on Monday.)
The fourth area – the “lake bottom” – remains under evacuation order, but Braun said the water levels dropped there another 20 inches in the last two days.
“With the significant progress we’ve made in reducing water levels in this area, we have also made good progress on conducting road, bridge and culvert rapid damage assessments, which supports us safely getting people back to their properties in the near future,” he said.
Braun estimated that at least “a couple of hundred properties” are located in the lake-bottom area, with 1,100 in total impacted in the Sumas Prairie since the flooding began.
Braun also announced that, starting Thursday at 8 a.m., a waste transfer station will be open on the west side of Riverside Road near McConnell Road for residents to take debris from the flood cleanup.
He said the city is continuing its disinfectant process of the Sumas Prairie drinking-water system and residents might notice a chlorine odour, which is expected to be in place for several weeks.
The “do not use (flush only)” water advisory remains in effect for Sumas Prairie.
Braun said potable water stations for people to obtain drinking water are located at No. 2 Road and Boundary Road from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. daily.
He reminded residents to visit the Return Home Plan webpage on the city’s website or the reception centre at Tradex for more information about the supports that are available.
The webpage includes an interactive web where people can type in their address to determine the status of evacuation orders and alerts.